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Theatre Institute

The publication was produced in cooperation with the Music Information Centre as a part of the program Czech Music 2004

Editor in chief: Lenka Dohnalov (Theatre Institute) Editorial team: L.Dohnalov, J. Bajgar, J. Bajgarov, J. Javrek, H. Klabanov, J. Ludvov, A. Opekar, S. Santarov, I. md Translation 2004 by Anna Bryson Cover 2004 by Ditta Jikov Book design 2004 by Ondej Sldek 2005 by Theatre Institute, Celetn 17, 110 00 Prague 1, Czech Republic First printing ISBN 80-7008-175-9 All rights of this publication reserved.



4 11 14 16 20 24 26 32 38 48 59 62 66 70 77 79 82

ca 800 863-885 ca 880 906 935 973 1019 1063 1212 emergence of a number of principalities on Bohemian territory and the beginnings of the Great Moravian state the mission of Constantine and Methodius sent from Byzantium; they who create a Slav liturgy in Great Moravia the Czech prince Boivoj (+perhaps 890/891) accepts Christianity fall of Great Moravia murder of Prince Wenceslas, later canonised; establishment of a unied Czech state in the reign of Boleslav I. (+972) foundation of a bishopric in Prague denitive annexation of Moravia to Bohemia foundation of a bishopric in Olomouc The Golden Bull of Sicily conrms and adds to the rights and privileges of the Bohemian kings and the Kingdom of Bohemia, recognising the independence and sovereignty of the Bohemia state later to be advanced still further in 1356 by The Golden Bull of Charles IV. end of the rule of the Czech Pemyslid dynasty, which becomes extinct in the male line rule of the Luxembourg dynasty in the Lands of the Bohemian Crown foundation of an archbishopric in Prague Charles IV. founds a university in Prague schism in the church; from the mid-14th century criticism of church abuses (such as sale of indulgences) grows in the Bohemian Lands, together with an emphasis on inner piety; inspired by heretical teachings of the period (John Wycliff), reformist thinkers and preachers come to the forefront (M. Jan Hus preaches in the Bethlem Chapel from 1402, from 1414 there is a campaign for communion in both kinds for the laity (symbolised by the chalice) the Church Council of Constance rejects several articles of the teaching of Master Jan Hus, who is then burnt at the stake there on the 6th of July

1306 1310-1437 1344 1348 1378-1417



the Hussite Revolution open rebellion against the existing order of church and state: efforts to make the law of God the highest authority in the life of society (law, politics, morals). The Czechs take up arms to defend their faith (Head Jan ika and so on), but the movement is accompanied by ideological disputes between different fractions. The most moderate demands of the Hussites are nally expressed in the so-called Compacts (e.g. wine at communion for the laity, the punishment of mortal sins) the Emperor Sigismund conrms the ofcial co-existence of two parallel religions (Catholicism, Utraquism) in the Bohemian Lands beginnings of printing (Johannes Gutenberg) establishment of the Unity of Czech Brethren reign of George of Podbrady rule by the Jagiellons (Vladislav, +1516, Ludvk, +1526) beginnings of printing of music notation (contemporary polyphony: O. dei Petrucci in Venice from 1501) public protest by Martin Luther (1483-1546), the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in Germany rule of the Habsburg Dynasty in the Bohemian Lands the Prague Clementinum becomes the seat of a Jesuit College; beginnings of an increasingly strong Counter-Reformation in the Bohemian Lands the Emperor and King of Bohemia Rudolf II moves to Prague with his capella the Thirty Years War; beginning of the Revolt of the Bohemian Estates defeat of the army of the Bohemian Estates at the Battle of the White Mountain, unconditional capitulation and the occupation of Prague condemnation of the leaders of the Estates rebellion, 27 of them are executed on Old Town Square; issue of decree banishing all non-Catholic priests from Bohemia the Catholic religion is declared the only permitted faith in Bohemia by imperial decree the Swedish armies invade Bohemia (theft of pictures from the royal collections) Peace of Westphalia, system of peace agreements ending the Thirty Years War. Fighting nevertheless continues, with treachery enabling the Swedish army to take Hradany and the Lesser Town in Prague and to occupy them for more than a year, while the Old and New Towns resist Swedish attacks a decree of Ferdinand III establishes the Carolo-Ferdinandea University in Prague under the supervision of the Jesuits

1436 ca 1450 1457 1458-1471 1471-1526 ca 1500 1517 1526-1918 1556 1583 1618-1648 1620 1621 1624 1639 1648


1679 1683 1711 1712 1713-1714 1723

plague hits the Bohemian Lands, coming from Vienna through Moravia and Southern Bohemia; the largest number of fatalities in 1680 are in Prague and its surroundings Siege of Vienna by the Turks, the Turkish army is repelled with the help of Polish and German divisions Charles VI. becomes Habsburg monarch and Holy Roman Emperor the rst working steam engine is made in England the last plague epidemic in Bohemia and Moravia coronation of the Austrian ruler Charles VI. as King of Bohemia, one of the works presented in Prague is J. J. Fuxs Costanza e Fortezza, involving more than 200 musicians including not only the court cappella but local musicians and many virtuosi from all over Europe start of regular opera performances in Prague in Brno the Italian impressario Angelo Mingotti starts an opera company break-up of A. Denzios Italian opera company in Prague, one of its last productions was the opera Praga nascente da Libussa e Primislao (Prague founded by Libue and Pemysl) with Denzios libretto; after two years another opera company directed by Santo Lapis starts to operate in Prague massive celebration of the canonisation of John of Nepomuk in Prague (a priest murdered in the reign of King Wenceslas IV., who became the most popular saint of the Bohemian Baroque) the theatre V Kotcch, the rst Prague public theatre set up by the city, starts to operate Marie Teresie ascends the throne, start of the Wars of the Austrian Succession which severely hit the Bohemian Lands (1743 - Marie Teresie is crowned Queen of Bohemia in Prague) the Prussian army invades Bohemia and seizes Prague beginning of the Seven Years War. The conict acquires global dimensions the Prussians invade Saxony and Bohemia, the Anglo-French War moves to the sea and the colonies (Africa, India, Canada) two years of black frosts and catastrophic harvest failure in Bohemia, triggering a number of peasant revolts. Visit to Bohemia by Charles Burney, the author of an 18th-century musical travel journal dissolution of the Jesuit order (that had a great effect on the way of education, including musical)

1724 1732 1735


1738 1740

1744 1756




introduction of compulsory schooling for children from 6 to 8 years old in state schools, designed to provide general education and with German as the teaching language in all cases death of Marie Teresie, Joseph II. becomes ruler of the Habsburg Monarchy and institutes major reforms: he abolishes serfdom and issues the Patent of Toleration granting freedom of religion (1781). He dissolves, among other things, most monasteries (1782) and religious brotherhoods (1787) a spoken drama and opera theatre built at the expense of Count F. A. Nostitz-Rhieneck is opened in Prague, in its time the largest theatre in Central Europe (today the Estates Theatre) W. A. Mozart comes to Prague for the production of his opera The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) Mozarts opera Don Giovanni, commissioned by the Prague impressario Bondini, is premiered with triumphant success at the Nostitz Theatre Leopold II. is crowned King of Bohemia. The Bohemian Estates (resp. Guardasoni) commission W. A. Mozart to compose his coronation opera on the libretto La clemenza di Tito. On the occasion of the coronation the rst industrial exhibition on the European continent is organised The Napoleonic Wars spread to the Bohemian Lands, the Battle of the Three Emperors takes place by Slavkov (Austerlitz) in Moravia Joseph Dobrovsk publishes the rst Czech Grammar (in German) which standardises the grammar and codies modern orthography a conservatory is established in Prague by a group of noblemen. It is the rst institution of its kind in Central Europe defeat of Napoleon at Leipzig in the Battle of the Nations The Congress of Vienna which determines the nature of the European order after the Napoleonic Wars founding of the National Museum in Prague the reign of Emperor Ferdinand V. (I), known as the Benecent Joseph Jungmann (1773-1847) completes publication of his Czech-German Dictionary the year of revolution and its consequences: the February Revolution in Paris; March movements in Vienna and in the Hungarian Lands; abolition of the corve; the Slav Congress and Whitsun Disturbances in Prague; the October Revolution in Vienna; bloody suppression of the revolution in the Habsburg Lands (in Hungary), in Germany and in Italy



1786 1787 1791

1805 1809 1811 1813 1814-1815 1818 1835-1848 1839 1848-1849

1848-1916 1851-1861 1860 1866 1867 1873 1881 1882 1891 1895 1914-1918 1917 1918 1923 1933 1937 1938

reign of Emperor Franz Joseph I. in Austria (later Austria-Hungary) period of Bachian Absolutism: hardening of the repressive machinery in Austria Franz Joseph I. issues the October Diploma (promising a constitution and civil liberties in the Austrian Monarchy) Austro-Prussian War; the Austrian and Bohemian army is defeated at Hradec Krlov; Prussian occupation of Prague the Austrian-Hungarian settlement dualism, i.e. the effective division of the Habsburg Monarchy into two separate parts the World Exhibition in Vienna; major economic crisis in Austria-Hungary the new National Theatre in Prague burns down; it is rebuilt in two years division of Prague University into separate Czech and German institutions the Jubilee Exhibition in Prague (the second industrial exhibition after 100 years) the Ethnographic Exhibition in Prague (which strengthened the sense of the national identity of the Czech Lands as part of the Slav nations) the First World War the October (Bolshevik) Revolution in Russia disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy; the establishment of the 1st Czechoslovak Republic (28th October) the start of regular broadcasts by Czechoslovak Radio in Prague A. Hitler rises to power in Germany death of the 1st Czechoslovak president T. G. Masaryk (*1850), E. Bene becomes president (from 1935) annexation (Anschluss) of Austria to Germany; The Munich Agreement on the cession of the Czech borderlands to Germany, establishment of the so-called Second Czechoslovak Republic end of the Second Czechoslovak Republic with the creation of a Slovak state and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (under the administration of the German Reich) Second World War: starts 1st Sept. 1939 with Hitlers attack on Poland assassination of the Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia R. Heydrich, followed by brutal repression: massacre of the inhabitants of Lidice and Leky; beginning of the mass extermination of Jews the policy of the Final Solution (Endlsung) of the Jewish Question

1939 1939-1945 1942

1945 1945-1946 1946 1947 1948 1950-1954 1953 1956

capitulation of Germany and Japan, liberation of Czechoslovakia transfer of the Sudeten Germans on the basis of the decrees issued by President E. Bene the Communist Party wins the elections and the Communist leader K. Gottwald becomes Prime Minister under pressure from Moscow Czechoslovakia refuses the Marshall Plan the Communists seize power (February), manipulated elections, K. Gottwald becomes president political show trials currency reform rapid growth of cost of living, devaluation of savings, death of J. V. Stalin and K. Gottwald 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party, a political leader N. S. Khruschev criticises the cult of personality of J. V. Stalin; the Soviet army is used in the bloody suppression of the anti-communist revolt in Hungary building of the Berlin Wall A. Dubek elected as leader of the Communist Party; Czechoslovkia embarks on a reform course; Invasion of Czechoslovakia by the armies of ve member states of the Warsaw Pact (USSR, East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria) (21st August) in protest against the Soviet occupation and the concessions by the Czechoslovak political leadership the student Jan Palach sets himself on re in Wenceslas Square (January); Gustav Husk becomes head of the Czechoslovak Communist Party start of the so-called period of normalisation of internal conditions G. Husk elected President founding of Charter 77, a civic initiative in defence of civil rights and liberties M. Gorbachev becomes leader of Soviet Communist Party and initiates the reforms known as Perestroika mass demonstrations following the suppression of a student march on the 17th of November, beginning of the Velvet Revolution; A. Dubek becomes Chairman of the Czechoslovak Parliament, V. Havel is elected President (December) free elections (June) division of Czechoslovakia into the Czech and Slovak Republics (1st January)

1961 1968


1975 1977 1985 1989

1990 1993

Historically Important Music Centers


MIDDLE AGES (CA 850 CA 1440)

We have no substantial evidence of the state of musical culture and the forms of music and singing in the Bohemian Lands before the advent of Christianity. Christianity (and its liturgical, so-called Gregorian Chant) began to make real headway in the region in the later 9th century. In 863 Rastislav, the Prince of the Great Moravia, summoned the missionaries Constantine (Cyril) and Methodius from Byzantium, and they created gradually the Slavonic liturgy. Boivoj, Prince of Bohemia, was also christened in Moravia in the 880s. After the Fall of Great Moravia (soon after 900), the Slavonic liturgy survived in pockets in Bohemia (the Monastery of Szava, 1032-97), but by the Latin liturgy prevailed, and with it the canonical Gregorian Chant including all its forms and types known in Western Christendom. In the 13th and 14th centuries, the period of the great owering of Gregorian Chant, some new compositions (tropes, hymns, sequences, rhymed ofces) were created in the Bohemian Lands too, especially for the feasts of the patron saints of the land Vclav (Wenceslas), Vojtch (Adalbert), Ludmila, Prokop. In 1363 the rst Prague Archbishop ARNOT OF PARDUBICE (+1364) ordered the compilation of a severalvolume collection of the plainchant repertory of the archdiocese, which has unfortunately not survived in full. Composers of chants included a DOMASLAV (otherwise unknown) and Archbishop JAN OF JENTEJN (+1400). The Church tolerated the performance of several other genres in churches, e.g. sacred plays and certain songs in the vernacular. The song Hospodine, pomiluj ny [Lord, Have Mercy on us] was originally based on Old Slavonic text and may have been created even earlier than in the 10th /11th century, as is conventionally believed. (The Emperor Charles IV. included it in his coronation ceremony). Other wellknown Bohemian (practically "state") songs were Svat Vclave, vvodo esk zem [Saint Wenceslas, Duke of the Czech Land] and later Bh vemohc (i.e. Christ ist erstanden) [God Almighty] and Jezu Kriste, edr kne [Jesus Christ, Generous Prince]. Latin sacred songs (cantiones) were composed by both clerics and students. They spread to Central and North Europe at the end Medieval notation of the 14th century and were successively Gradual of Arnot of Pardubice, 1363


translated into Czech, German and Flemish. In addition to the simple strophic songs the genre included more rened and complex forms, such as lais (Germ. Leich, e.g. O, Maria, matko Boie [Oh Mary, Mother of God]). In the 14th century the Latin sacred Easter plays were also translated into Czech and performed (together with what were known as The Plaints of the Virgin Mary) at schools and during Corpus Christi processions, although the Church authorities tried repeatedly to ban the practice. Secular music and song undoubtedly existed from earliest times but up to the 13th century there are only obscure references to it in the chronicles and we lack reliable testimony and (musical) sources. In the 13th-14th century, a number of well-known German minnesingers were certainly present at the royal court of the last Pemyslids and then the Luxemburgs to sing the praises of the Bohemian kings (REINMAR VON ZWETTER and others), while others would certainly have been known here (NEIDHARDT VON REUENTHAL, HEINRICH VON MEISSEN, known as FRAUENLOB, HEINRICH VON MGELN etc.). The great French poet and composer GUILLAUME DE MACHAUT (1300-1377) was in the service of King John of Luxemburg, but it seems to be unrealistic to assume he had much effect on the Bohemian culture of the time. From the 14th century

The Velislavs Bible Women playing musical instruments, mid-14th.cent.


we have records of Bohemian love songs of courtly type Dvo se listem odiev [Trees Are Putting on Leaves], the so-called Song of Zvi Ji mne v radost ostv [All My Joy is Waning], but in most cases the texts have survived without the music. Polyphony rst entered the church liturgy as a tolerated decoration of the monophonic Gregorian Chant. The improvised organum was probably cultivated in clerical communities (chapters, monasteries) from as early as the mid-12th century. We have written records of it from the end of the 13th century (Kyrie, Sanctus, hymns, tropes for the Benedicamus domino, lessons for the Ofces and Mass), and some of these pieces were in use right up to the end of the 16th century! The more elaborate mensural (measured) polyphony likewise spread into the Bohemian Lands probably from the end of the 13th century and developed its own specic genres there on the (mediated) models of the music known as (French) ars antiqua songs of conductus type and polytextual motets. In Europe beyond the Alps these were only two-part forms, and in the Bohemian Lands they were gradually modernised especially the motet - by the addition of further parts (from three to ve), by transformations of rhythm and metrics and so forth. Otherwise, after the mid-14th century the inuence of French ars nova (a new system of notation was explained to Prague students in an anonymous treatise of 1369) reached the Bohemian Lands. Indeed, the cultivation of contemporary polyphony seems to have shifted to the sphere of the schools and Prague University, from which the musical theory of the time (including a kind of textbook of musical forms), and knowledge of contemporary French music, to a lesser extent Italian music and home compositions (the isorythmic motet Ave coronata-Alma parens) spread to other Central European universities as well. Unfortunately this contemporary polyphonic music appears to have remained the property of learned men, students and clerics and not to have attracted the interest and support of the court and nobility. The cantilena songs for which Machaut became famous in an aristocratic society that cultivated the courtly love lyric, continued to be bound to sacred texts in Bohemia. The fteen-year HUSSITE PERIOD (1419-34) had a serious impact on musical culture in the Bohemian Lands, involving as it did the overthrow of church institutions (the dissolution of many monasteries, the emigration of monks), many and various transformations of rites and liturgy, ideological disputes about the permissibility and form of polyphony in the religious service etc. One notable achievement despite the disruption was a relatively sensitive and effective experiment in translating the Gregorian Chant from Latin to Czech (in what is known as the Jistebnice Hymnbook ca 1420). There was a huge upsurge in songs about current events ( svolnie konstansk [Oh, Council of Constance]), war songs (Kto js Bo bojovnci [You Who are Gods Warriors], Povsta, povsta, velik msto Prask [Arise, Arise Great City of Prague]) and religious songs. In the wake of the Hussite Wars, the Emperor Sigismund conrmed the legitimacy of two religions in one state, a move that was to be reected in the liturgical music of the next historical epoch.



While in Western Europe a new style of polyphonic music was undoubtedly crystallising from the 1430s, the period 1440-1620 in the Bohemian Lands should be more properly termed the Bohemian Reformation, when proceeded various changes in liturgical and sacred singing. Elements of Renaissance music style were nonetheless reaching the country from the mid-15th century. The majority of the Bohemian population adhered to the faith known as Utraquism (because the legacy of Hussitism was communion in both kinds = sub utraque specie for the laity), and until the mid-16th century the Catholic church was very much a minority, as were other smaller reformation groups (e.g. The Unity of the Brethren, 16th century churches inspired by Lutheranism etc.). Utraquist liturgical singing did not, however, differ much from catholic. The Utraquists curtailed or almost abolished, perhaps with the exception of Vespers, performing of the Ofces (i.e. Day Hours) but they performed the Mass in Latin and, with only a few small deviations, as the Gregorian Chant. They also, however, adopted the singing of (mainly Latin) monophonic and polyphonic songs and polyphony in general into the service. A corpus of church music of this kind (plainchant, songs, polyphony) has been preserved from around 1500 in ornate manuscript graduals in the large towns (the so-called Franus Hymnbook (1505)in Hradec Krlov, the Gradual from Chrudim (1530) and others). On the one hand, then, the repertoire of medieval polyphony (songs, polytextual motets, see above) was revived and often modernised. Around the mid-15th century pieces by PETRUS WILHELMI of GRUDZIADZ (1392-ca 1470?), already inuenced by the style of the West European Renaissance, reached the Bohemian Lands, later translated into Czech during the 16th century. This repertoire survived into the 17th century, albeit only as entertainment music for the Literate Brotherhoods (see below) and students at various schools during carolling. On the other hand, it was at this time that polyphony of the new Renaissance style gradually arrived in the Bohemian Lands (Mass cycles and parts, motets, songs), in many cases written by leading English (W. Frye, J. Plummer) or Franco-Netherlands composers (H. Isaac, J. Obrecht, Josquin Desprez); there are also signs of development in original home production, although most composers were anonymous (N mil svat Vclave [Our Dear St. Wenceslas] is an arrangement of a very old sacred song, see above). The so-called Codex Strahov (ca 1470) and Codex Specilnk (ca 1490) are particularly important sources of European signicance. Church singing in the era of the Czech Reformation was provided by what were known as the LITERTSK BRATRSTVA [Literary Brotherhoods], societies of educated burghers. It was on their abilities that the breadth and complexity of the church music repertoire sketched above depended. Roughly around the middle of the 16th century church singing evidently under the inuence of the Lutheran Reformation shifted from Latin to Czech. One clearly associated change was the strikingly increased participation of the congregation in the religious service through the singing of Czech sacred songs. (The liturgy of the Unity of the Brethren was practically limited to this monophonic singing, and in Renaissance notation collection of masses the latter part of the 16th century even Czech and German by Ch. Luython, published in Prague, 1609


Catholics adopted congregational singing in the church.). This explains the huge number of hymnbooks (i.e. collections of sacred songs) produced by all the religious groups, many of them printed (especially in the case of the Unity of the Brethren - the so-called amotulsk kancionl [Szamotuly Hymnbook], 1561). Some hymnbooks also included sets of polyphonic arrangements of the most widely known songs (e.g. the anonymous Vstal jest tto chvle [He is Risen at this Hour]). It can generally be said that the from the 1570s the musical culture of the Bohemian Lands moved closer to the culture of Western Europe, both in basic conditions (a school system linked up to music institutions, printing of music, manufacture of musical instruments), and in musical practice (town trumpeters and organists, amateur circles of burghers, cappellae and instrumental ensembles of nobility, e.g. at the courts of the Romberk families in the South of Bohemia where contemporary European secular music was also played) and in original musical production. The leading composers of sacred music (masses, motets, sacred songs) were now no longer anonymous (Missa Dunaj voda hlubok [Danube Deep Water]), but distinguished and widely known composers from the ranks of the literary brotherhoods, who generally signed their names in Latin: GEORGIUS RYCHNOVINUS (in fact JI RYCHNOVSK +1616), IOANNES TRAIANUS TURNOVINUS (TURNOVSK +1629), PAULUS SPONGOPAEUS GISTEBNICENUS (JISTEBNICK +1619) and others. There was development from the style of Netherlands composers (Gombert, Clemens non Papa) right up to the (double-choir) techniques of the Venetian School (A. and G. Gabrieli) and together with the works of all the named composers, their compositions were copied into what were known as part books, which were produced (apart from printed music materials) for the needs of all the leading literary brotherhoods of this era (Prague, The Szamotuly Hymnbook, 1561 Hradec Krlov, Klatovy, Rokycany and elsewhere). Only occasionally were pieces by Czech composers actually printed (Bicinia nova by ONDEJ CHRYSOPONUS JEVSK +1579; humanist arrangements of psalms and odes by JAN CAMPANUS VODANSK +1622).


With the arrival of the Habsburg court cappella of the Emperor Rudolf II in Prague (1583), important European composers began to work here, including (Kapellmeister) PHILIPPE DE MONTE (+1603 in Prague), the deputy Kapelmeister JACOB REGNART (+1599), the organist CHARLES LUYTHON (+1620 in Prague) and others, who performed internationally popular secular genres at the court (madrigals, canzonettas, ensaladas etc.); these penetrated, at least partly, even into the puritan atmosphere of Bohemian Reformation (in lute intabulations such as Jungfrau, eur wanckelmut Panno, vrtkavost tv). At the same time the notable Slovenian composer JACOBUS HANDL GALLUS (+1591 in Prague), was living first in Moravia and then in Prague, where the printer Ji Nigrin had publish practically all his work. The musicians Ch. Demantius, M. Krumbholz, V. Otto and others were active in the border towns and at the courts of the German nobility. Among Bohemian composers of the era, the nobleman and leading Rudolphine courtier KRYTOF HARANT OF POLICE AND BEZDRUICE (1564-1621) occupied a special position, although only a small fragment of his work has survived (e.g. the motet Maria Kron, Missa super Krytof Harant of Poice, 1608 Dolorosi martyr based on a madrigal by L. Marenzio). Towards the end of his career Harant converted to Protestantism and played an important role in the rebellion against the Habsburgs. His execution on Old Town Square in Prague on the 21st of June 1621 may be regarded as the symbolic end of the epoch of the Bohemian Reformation and Renaissance.

THE BAROQUE (CA 1620 CA 1740)

The beginning of the Baroque epoch in the Bohemian Lands was moulded by the stormy political and social changes that followed the defeat of the Revolt of the Estates at the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620. The leaders of revolt were severely punished, there were unprecedentedly large-scale conscations of property, the forced re-catholicisation of the population and, in response, mass emigration; among those who went into exile were many leading gures, such as Comenius (J. A. Komensk). The constitutional changes that Ferdinand II embodied in the Renewed Land Constitution of 1627 established the hereditary rule of the Habsburgs in the Bohemian Lands, curtailed the rights of the Bohemian Estates, made Catholicism the only permitted faith and gave equal status to German with Czech as the ofcial language. The revolt of the Bohemian states also, of course, triggered the Thirty Years War and up to 1648/50 the armies of both sides swept over the Bohemian Lands several times, causing economic and cultural devastation and decimating the population. The pattern of development of new kinds of Baroque music in the Bohemian Lands was strongly


affected by the removal of the royal court with its huge cultural potential and the institution of the court cappella to Vienna (1612). This meant that with few exceptions, major European composers were not attracted to the Bohemian Lands, and opera, the most important and prestigious musical genre of the time, was not cultivated there systematically for a long time. The main seedbeds of cultural development in the country were the seats of the nobility or church aristocracy. In the period of relative calm and economic prosperity in the last decades of the 17th century, the Prague towns also began to develop a degree of cultural leadership as the natural centre of Bohemia, but Moravia was more orientated to nearby Vienna. The most important places for the cultivation of music were ecclesiastical institutions churches, monasteries and colleges. For the whole period domestic musical production was focused on various kinds of Catholic sacred music. The new musical style already started to penetrate gradually into the Bohemian Lands in the rst decades of the 17th century, above all through compositions imported from Italy. In some choirs, however, even after the White Mountain, the brotherhoods of church singers managed to survive, and for a relatively long time continued to cultivate the earlier repertoire of renaissance polyphony. Most of the Catholic hymnbooks also took over the older songs, and in a number of cases even used chants from the Protestant choral tradition. Early domestic expressions of the new style include the Magnicat by the former member of the Rudolphine cappella JAN SIXTUS OF LERCHENFELS (1626). The rst important Czech composer of the Baroque age was ADAM VCLAV MICHNA OF OTRADOVICE (ca 1600-1676), who was active in Jindichv Hradec where he had studied at the local Jesuit College. His work includes both collections of sacred songs that are outstanding for their original musical treatment and distinctive poetic qualities (esk marinsk muzyka [Czech Music in Honour of the Virgin], 1647, Loutna esk [The Czech Lute], 1653, Svatoron muzyka [Music for the Holy Year], 1661), and gural church music (with instrumental accompaniment) on Latin texts. The Obsequium Marianum (1642) was the rst of his collections to be printed, in Vienna. Among other editions published, like Michnas song collections, in the Prague Jesuit press we might mention the lengthy collection of masses and other sacred compositions Sacra et litaniae (1654). The late Missa Sancti Wenceslai (ca 1670) reveals the composers capacity to keep up with the development of modern compositional techniques. Michnas songs were abundantly taken up and used in other hymnbooks. His most conspicuous successor in this eld was the organist VCLAV KAREL HOLAN ROVENSK (ca 1644-1718), Adam Michna of Otradovice Czech Marian Music, who collected and published a copious set of more than Prague 1647


400 sacred songs Capella regia musicalis (1693) in Prague. This popular title was a special kind of hymnbook combining the form of the practical hymnal, such as the una voce Kancionl esk [Czech Hymnary] (1683) of VCLAV MATJ TEYER, for example, with the form of collection of polyphonic with a gured bass and instrumental accompaniment following on from Michnas example. Many of Holans arrangements were later adopted in simplied form by JAN JOSEF BOAN in his Slavek rajsk [Nightingale of Paradise] (1719). The most distinguished composer to follow Michna was probably PAVEL JOSEF VEJVANOVSK (1640-1693), from 1664 the trumpet player and capelmeister in the service of the Bishop of Olomouc Karl Liechtenstein-Castelcorn in Krom. His extensive output (ca 130 at least partially preserved pieces) contains not only gural church music, but also many instrumental pieces for various instrumental combinations. Mainly sonatas for performance in church (e.g. Sonata vespertina), they also included the secular dance suites called balletti. In the years 1668-1670 the Bishop of Olomouc also employed the well-known composer HEINRICH IGNAZ FRANZ BIBER (1644-1704), who soon departed to make a better career in Salzburg, but kept in contact with Vejvanovsk and sent him a number of his own pieces, some of which have therefore survived as unique copies in the valuable Krom music collection. The turn of the 17th/18th centuries saw a visible revival of musical life in Prague, where there was a dense network of parish and monastic church choirs cultivating gural music. The most important, from the musical point of view, were the churches of the Jesuit colleges, the Order of the Cross Church of St. Francis Seraphic by Charles bridge, which later became famous for oratorio productions and which commissioned a number of composers including the then highly rated JOHANN CASPAR FERDINAND FISCHER (16561746), and the Cathedral of St. Vitus, where the director of the choir was MIKUL FRANTIEK XAVER WENTZELY (ca 1643-1722), who published a major collection of masses Flores verni [Spring Flowers, 1700] in Prague. We have very little information about domestic instrumental music. Violin sonatas were composed as well as sacred works by the music-loving doctor JAN IGNC FRANTIEK VOJTA (ca 1660-before 1725), for example. In noble and burgher circles the lute was very popular as well, and Count JAN ANTONN LOSY (ca 1650-1721) was an outstanding lute player. Prague was also the place of publication of a noteworthy musical dictionary by the organist at Our Lady before the Tn, TOM BALTAZAR JANOVKA (1669-1741) - Clavis ad thesaurum magnae artis musicae (1701, 1715), and it was followed by a similar theoretical work by the Plasy Cistercian MAURITIUS VOGT (1669-1730) - Conclave thesauri magnae artis musicae (1719). The most important composer of the Bohemian Baroque was JAN DISMAS ZELENKA (16791745). He was born in Louovice pod Blankem and probably studied at one of the Prague Jesuit colleges. In 1704 he composed music for a school play produced in the Lesser Town Jesuit College. This was his rst known composition, but it has not survived. Later he wrote a series of pieces for the Prague Clementinum: apart from three sepulchres (cantatas sung at the Good Friday in front of the Holy Sepulchre), they were mainly music for the Latin school drama Sub olea pacis et palma virtutis (Melodrama de Sancto Wenceslao), which was performed as part of the grand celebrations of the coronation of Charles VI as King of Bohemia in 1723. By this time, however, Zelenka was already working abroad. While in 1709 he was still in Prague as an employee of the future Count Hartig, less than two years later he left from Dresden, where he found a place in the famous court cappella there, rst as a double bass player and then as a composer. In 1716-19 he probably made a short visit to Italy and then studied with Johann Joseph Fux in Vienna. Both there and in Dresden, where he spent the rest of his life, he had an opportunity enjoyed by no other contemporary Czech musician to perfect his compositional art. His highly individual instrumental output consists of the orchestral


Capriccios, 6 trio sonatas and 4 orchestral concertante pieces (Hipocondrie, Concerto, Ouverture a Simphonie) composed in Prague in 1723. Zelenkas main area of composition was, however, Catholic sacred music, and in this eld his most remarkable works include six Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah (Lamentationes Jeremiae prophetae), twenty-seven Responsions for Holy Week (Responsoria pro hebdomada sancta) and more than twenty masses, particularly the unnished cycle Missae ultimae [Last Mass]. The three parts of the latter cycle (Missa Dei Patris, Missa Dei Filii a Missa Omnium Sanctorum) together with the late Loreta litanies represent the monumental conclusion of Zelenkas oeuvre of genius. BOHUSLAV MATJ ERNOHORSK (1684-1742) was likewise a major domestic composer of the rst third of the 18th century. A member of the Minorite Order, who worked in the 1720s and early 1730s at the choir of the Prague Church of St. James, he nonetheless spent two decades in Italy, mainly in Padua. All that survives of his work are a few organ fugues and church compositions, and his motet Laudetur Jesus Christus (ca 1728) was printed in Prague. According to later tradition ernohorsk was an important teacher; Giuseppe Tartini studied with him in Italy, and in Prague his pupils are said to have included many composers, the most signicant being Josef Ferdinand Seger, Frantiek Ignc Tma and ernohorsks successor at the choir of St. Jamess, ESLAV VAURA (1695-1736). Other important domestic composers of this period included above all the BENEDICTINE VCLAV GUNTHER JACOB (16851734) and JAN JOSEF IGNC BRENTNER (1689-1742), who had a number of their compositions printed. Among the church compositions of IMON BRIXI (1693-1735) we nd The Prague Water Music in honour of St. John of Nepomuk, concertos, overtures and chamber pieces by ANTONN REICHENAUER (perhaps 16941730) have survived as well as sacred music, and solo church cantatas were composed by JOHANN CHRISTOPH KRIDEL (1672-1733), JOSEF LEOPOLD VCLAV DUKT (1684-1717) and JOSEF ANTONN PLNICK (1691-1732), among others. For a long time opera was rarely heard in the Bohemian Lands. When performed at all it was usually as part of one of the far from numerous visits of the imperial court, while at the beginning of the 18th century a few Italian touring companies gave isolated performances. One important impulse was the monumental production of J. J. Fuxs opera Costanza et fortezza during the festivities held in Prague in 1723 for the already mentioned coronation of Charles VI. Invited to Bohemia in 1724 by Count Frantiek Antonn pork, the Italian opera company of impressario Antonio Denzio then played for ten years in Prague and at Kuks, presenting operas by Italian composers including Antonio Vivaldi. Not long before, Count Jan Adam Questenberg had begun to stage opera at his chateau in Jaromice nad Rokytnou, with the cast consisting mainly of his servants. Again the repertoire was primarily Italian, but it seems to be here that Czech was rst used in opera, in a translation of the opera Lorigine di Jaromeriz in Moravia [On the Origin of Jaromice, 1730] by the counts capelmeister FRANTIEK ANTONN VCLAV MA (1694-1744). Opera productions were also presented at the seat of the Bishop of Olomouc Cardinal Wolfgang Schrattenbach in Krom, and two operas by the capelmeister there, VCLAV MATY GURECK (1705-1743) unfortunately only the librettos have survived are further evidence of the humble beginnings of Czech opera.



When the historian of music Charles Burney embarked on his second journey through Europe in 1772, he wanted to see the country from which so many outstanding musicians had come. In every major European musical centre he had seen before he encountered not just Italians, whom he admired, but also Bohemians, who lled him with curiosity. On his several-day visit to the Bohemian Lands, however, the English traveller was surprised and disappointed. From his stagecoach he saw a land gripped for the second year by a great famine, while Prague was still in ruins after the Prussian siege. He came to the conclusion that the prevailing poverty allowed few to use their talents. At the same time he appreciated the importance of the rural schools, where he saw the seless and apparently fruitless work of the best professionals. Thus he arrived at the root of a problem later to be called Czech musical emigration. In the Bohemian Lands in the latter half of the 18th century we see a perfect t between a political and a cultural era: the era of Enlightened Absolutism in politics and the era of Classicism in music. It is not a t that works with Fine Art, because response to Classicism in this area came only at the very end of the century, and almost right up to the end of the 18th century visual taste and life style were still primarily inuenced by the Late Baroque spirit. Its decorativeness and emotional exaltation resonated well with the local tradition and entirely saturated both semi-popular and popular visual culture. Even when enlightenment rationalism pushed it out of its position of universal visual style at the end of the century, it retained its grip in the eld of folk culture. As far as music is concerned, however, Bohemian Classicism was exceptionally important, and for the whole of Europe. At this period the Bohemian Lands became distinctive for over-production of talented and well trained musicians who inuenced the culture of many European centres; despite the strong competition, they were sought out when orchestras were being founded, and obtained many prestigious positions. The Czech musical emigrants are, indeed, accorded an important place in the crystallisation of musical Classicism specialists even speak of Bohemia and Prague as of one of the places were the stylistic changes of the mid-18th century were born. The Peculiarities of Musical Life This development was made possible by the interplay of several historical circumstances. In this period the general musicality of the Bohemian Lands reached an unprecedented peak, both in quantity and in quality. It was during the 18th century that the results of several decades of systematic development of education (Jesuits, Piarists) began to emerge. Music had played an important part in re-catholicising policies, and every school leaver was usually a trained singer and instrumentalist. Active musical knowledge was a socially valued attribute, often a condition of admission to a monastery, and in one specic case (the Waldstein estates) a condition for permission to learn a trade. The absence of a royal court (which had been formally moved to Vienna) was an anomalous feature of the Bohemian Kingdom. This created a brake on the development of fundamental musical genres (opera, instrumental music), but on the other hand, relatively dense network of music centres not limited to the metropolis had developed. Grammar schools and colleges famous for their music were often located


in the smaller towns. The country monasteries, which had schools and professional ensembles, were also important centres (and there is evidence that people from the surrounding areas attended the sung ceremonies in great numbers); in the rural schools singing was one of the main subjects. A number of leading musicians came from the countryside, getting a livelihood and education as vocalists in town or monastery churches on the recommendation of their teachers. The noble residences also had an inuence on the general musicality. Among the nobility there was a large percentage of descendants of war entrepreneurs from the Thirty Years War, who did not have local ties to the estates they acquired from Habsburgs as conscated from former Bohemian nobility, but who nonetheless wanted to put on a grand show and discovered that they could put together a good ensemble from their own serfs. Their attitude to the musicians often reected the fact: they regarded them as their property, refused permission for marriage (F. Benda) and harshly punished attempts to escape (the famous case of the escaped horn-player J. V. Stich-Punto, whose front teeth were supposed to be taken out). Others, however, proved generous patrons who supported the local schools, made it possible for talented children to study and made their seats remarkable local centres (the Pachtas in Citoliby). A whole series of capable composers therefore could nd a livelihood as teachers in small towns and villages where schools were under noble patronage (J. I. Linek, J. Dusk), and where they educated the new generation. The general musicality of the Bohemian Lands was clearly not the result of these efforts alone. Prefaces to hymnals of the 18th century paradoxically show that earlier there had been much more singing in churches and families. The decisive advantage of Early Classicism lay rather in the convergence of all the musical genres, which were gradually linked up into a single universal style. This process started at the beginning of the 18th century, when new direct contacts with Italy opened up. Often the same arias as in the theatre were performed in church choirs, composed music drew inspiration from folksong (symmetry and simplicity were the overall ideal of classicism) and folk music, conversely, was much rened by the Italian music of the time. A generation that had grown up as children in this universal musical language was not inhibited from cultivating serious music by the sense that it was something that must be learned additionally. The moment they started professional training, the future composers usually had a head start in imaginative power and the capacity for spontaneous improvisation, which they had gained from an ordinary folk culture background. Musical Emigration and its Causes Despite the quantity and diffusion of musical activity, there was no large centre were the best home musicians could make their careers. In the surrounding lands this function was fullled by ruling courts that lavished a great deal of money on cultural prestige and had a many-sided cultural life. The rst musicians from Bohemia were therefore leaving to pursue careers in neighbouring centres as early as the rst third of the 18th century (J. D. Zelenka, F. I. Tma, F. Benda). But the real rise in emigration came with the War of the Austrian Succession, when the Bohemian Lands once again became a battle eld. The rst wave of the exodus of skilled musicians from Prague occurred in the rst years of the war (J. V. Stamic, J. Zach, the Lapis opera company). In the countryside the situation was even more hopeless and deteriorated further with economic measures that gave landowners further powers to exploit their serfs as free labour force.


Knowledge of a music profession thus held out the hope of a better life escape abroad might mean prosperity and recognition, or at the least a liberation from an undignied status. There was a substantial demand for musicians abroad, too, since especially in the German Empire there were dozens of courts that needed a cappella and theatre in order to keep up their reputation. By the mid-18th century large communities of musicians from Bohemia (both Czech- and German-speaking) were working in many of them, including highly rated composers, kapellmeister and instrumentalists who had ed from the war and were clearly willing to enter service even under the most unfavourable conditions. The situation was different in the Hungarian Lands, where noble authority was being restored after liberation from Turkish rule and many musicians earned enough to save for their future careers in the service of magnates (J. Vahal, J. Drueck). Finally Czech musicians were attracted to Vienna as the capital of the monarchy (here it is not quite appropriate to speak of emigration), where towards the end of the 18th century they already had an inuence equal to that of the Italians. Here a whole generation of composers came to maturity who were among the best in Europe and helped to create high Viennese Classicism (J. K. Vahal, L. Koeluh, J. A. Vranick, J. V. H. Voek). Their compositions naturally returned to their homeland and cultivated the local environment. The Results of the Josephs reforms A lasting peace nally emerged in the reign of Josef [Joseph] II. It was at the same time a period of major reforms aimed at modernising the economy in the spirit of enlightened rationalism, and affecting almost all aspects of life. In a few years the institutional structures that had maintained the standard of musical life were in ruins. Enlightened centralism strengthened its position above all with thorough measures against the church, whose educational and cultural activities had hitherto lled the gaps left by the absence of some of the secular institutions that had developed elsewhere in Europe. The policy of Josesph II consisted in curtailing the inuence of the church on education, concentrating all charitable activities in the hands of the state, and dissolving all institutions that were not regarded as benecial to the economy. Josephs II. liturgical reforms banished elaborate music from the churches, which at that time had often fullled the function of concert halls. For the whole of the rst half of the 19th century people were to remember the sharp decline of general musicality, seeing the cause in the dissolution of the Literate Brotherhoods and monasteries whose schools once produced educated teachers. After the loss of institutional background the standard of musical life was maintained usually only until the rst generational transition. Especially in the countryside, however, the situation was saved by a schoolmasters music often now akin to the semifolk. After the coronation of Leopold II as King of Bohemia hopes revived for the renewal of the dissolved institutions and perhaps even the renewal of a royal court in Prague. But soon came the Napoleonic Wars... In a time of apparent chaos, however, the conditions necessary for the gradual creation of a modern civic society, and with it for the emergence of new forms of musical life, were developing slowly and unobserved. The abolition of serfdom allowed the towns to develop normally and local culture to acquire a new form. The secularisation of cultural life forced the new local government organs to take on patronage obligations towards schools and church choirs. In Prague and the larger towns a concert life based on private patronage started to awaken. The patriotic nobility nanced the Estates Theatre and founded a conservatory


in Prague. As the Napoleonic Wars and their immediate consequences faded, an entirely new kind of musical life, typical for the 19th century, was already beginning to develop.

Important Composers FRANTIEK IGNC TMA (1704-1774) was for a time vocalist at the Minorite church St James in Prague. Then he went to Vienna, and settled there probably before 1929. He studied composition with a court composer J. J. Fux, and soon became a well known mostly for his church compositions. They were noted by his contemporaries for their solidity of texture and sensitive treatment of the text as well as for their new Frantiek Ignc Tma, 1782 musical expression. FRANTIEK XAVER BRIXI (1732-1771) was among the most striking and prolic composers to remain in the Bohemian Lands. The son of the Prague teacher imon Brixi BRIXI (he was orphaned at 3) at the age of 27 he obtained the prestigious (lifetime) post of Kapellmeister at the Prague Cathedral. As a composer he mainly wrote church music, but he also composed oratorios, for example and instrumental pieces. Brixis work (several hundred opuses) is distinguished by lively melodic with abundant syncopation and a perfect feeling for sung Latin. Copies of his pieces have been preserved all over Central Europe and they were frequently performed throughout the 19th century and in some places the 20th century. JAN VCLAV STAMIC (STAMITZ) (1717-1758) decided as a young violinist to go abroad in the rst war years. He settled at the court in Mannheim, where he became director of instrumental music and built up an orchestra with a good reputation, consisting mainly of his fellow countrymen from Bohemia. As a composer he was the founder of the Mannheim School and a leading pioneer of musical Classicism in the eld of instrumental music. FRANTIEK BENDA (1709-1788) worked from 1733 at the royal Prussian court in Berlin. He was a sought-after violin virtuoso (in his biography he expresses gratitude and honour for his rst teacher, a blind Jewish violinist from a rural ensemble) and the author of instrumental pieces. His brother was the versatile composer JI ANTONN BENDA (1722-1795), who became famous primarily for his inuence on the Frantiek Benda development of stage melodrama and singspiel. JAN ZACH (1713-1773) had an extremely eventful life. He was born the son of a rural publican, and in Prague worked his way up to become the organist of several churches and a respected composer. During the war years he left for Germans and took over direction of the prestigious cappella of the Elector Archbishop of Mainz. He was dismissed after disputes and lived as a travelling performer and composer. An inuence on the formation of the sonata principle is attributed to his surviving symphonies, and his church music represents a synthesis of Late Baroque expression with the style of developed Classicism. It is distinguished by ingenious rhythm and instrumentation. JOSEF MYSLIVEEK (1737-1781) was one of the few foreigners to make a name for himself as an opera composer in Italy. He composed for leading Italian theatres (Naples, Milan, Rome), distinguished for strong melodies and virtuosity of a kind that responded to the needs of the leading soloists. Mysliveeks opera and oratorio works were very popular in their time and were admired even by Mozart. They were


performed in Central Europe as well individual arias, based on Latin text, became core elements of many Czech church archives. JAN ANTONN KOELUH (1738-1814) was for a time Kapellmeister of the Prague Cathedral, and at the same time a member of the theatre orchestra. He was the only Bohemian composer to try to compose an Italian opera seria. His music was based on the Italian opera style. His meeting with music of an earlier time when the church archives were sold off (in 1780s) led Koeluh to a great interest in earlier music (for example he performed the Zelenkas masses) and it inuenced his later work. JAN LADISLAV DUSK (1760-1812) became one of the most celebrated pianists of his time, working as a soloist and teacher in German centres, St. Petersburg, London and Paris. In his piano compositions he combined the sonata form with an emotional and Jan Ladislav Dusk dramatic content, so presaging the later emergence of Romanticism. JAN VCLAV STICH-PUNTO (1746-1803) became famous as a virtuoso on the French horn. He perfected the technique of play on the natural French horn (without keys) to the standard of a solo instrument. He worked in Paris and Vienna, where Beethoven consulted him on his Sonata for French Horn and Piano. ANTONN REJCHA (1770-1836) was still a boy when he went to Germany. Since 1785 he played the violin and the ute in the court orchestra in Bonn, where he met L. v. Beethoven as well as outstanding music educationalist C. G. Neefe. Later he was employed as a utist, conductor, teacher and composer in Hamburg and Vienna. Finally he settled in Paris (1808), and was appointed professor at the Conservatory in 1818. His extensive musical output is distinctive especially in the eld of piano fugues and chamber music for woodwind.


This period has traditionally been considered a comparatively unimportant period in the history of music in the Czech Lands, a mere dull echo of the rich musical life of previous years and a modest foreshadowing of the great era yet to come. This is not entirely fair. A music-loving traveller arriving in Prague and other places in Bohemia and Moravia at the time would even then have noticed like the English music critic Charles Burney half a century before much of interest, testifying to the changing social needs and demands on music as a serious art, but also and strikingly as entertainment and representation. At the same time and probably with satisfaction he would have discovered that the musical conditions here did not essentially differ from those he had met in surrounding (German-speaking) towns and lands. The greatest interest continued to be opera, which at that time unlike today relied mainly on new pieces from the contemporary French-Italian repertoire. In contrast to 18th-century practice, it was now performed in translation, i.e. in German or very occasionally in Czech as well. The conductors of the Prague Opera included the famous German composer CARL MARIA VON WEBER (1786-1826), who worked here in 1813-16, and later, in 1827-57, FRANTIEK KROUP (1801-1862), originally a student of philosophy and law, the author of the comic singspiel Drtenk [The Tinker] (1826), the Czech national anthem Kde domov mj [Where is My Home] (1834) and several serious operas on Czech and German texts. In his later years at the opera kroup was responsible for staging the early works of Richard Wagner


(Tannhuser, Lohengrin, The Flying Dutchman) and Giuseppe Verdi (Il Trovatore, Rigoletto). After discharge from the services of the Prague opera he left to work in Rotterdam in Holland. Public concerts were also well-attended musical events. In 1803 Jednota umlc hudebnch ku podpoe vdov a sirotk [the Union of Musical Artists for the Support of Widows and Children, Tonknstler-Societt] was founded on the Viennese model, organising one or two concerts annually for charitable purposes. Other institutions that developed concert activities included music schools, above all the Prague Conservatory, which opened in 1811 under the rst director Friedrich Dionys Weber and slightly later the Organ School, established in 1830. In the same period the blind teacher JOSEF PROKSCH (1794-1864), later the teacher of Bedich Smetana, opened a private music school in Prague. The year 1840 saw the launch of the concert and educational activities of the Cecilsk jednota [Cecilia Association, Ccilien-Verein] and the ofnsk akademie [Sophien-Akademy], in which capable amateurs played alongside professional musicians. Naturally, there was great public interest in the visits and concert appearances of leading European ` PAGANINI (1782-1840), CLARA SCHUMANN composers and virtuosos, including NICCOLO (1819-1896), FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886) and HECTOR BERLIOZ (1803-1869). All important musical and opera events were at this time recorded and discussed in detail in the period press. Among leading Prague music critics we nd, for example, the lawyer and music historian AUGUST WILHELM AMBROS (1816-1876), active in Prague up to 1872, or the young EDUARD HANSLICK (1825-1904), a pupil of Vclav Jan Tomek, who later made a name as an inuential music critic in Vienna. At this period entertainment or service music was primarily dance music. In the Bohemian Lands as elsewhere fashionable dances such as the cossaise, quadrille and above all the waltz became very popular. Conversely the Bohemian Lands exported the polka, a hit which from the end of the 1830s quickly spread throughout Europe and to the American continent. The rst composer of polkas seems to have been the schoolmaster FRANTIEK HILMAR (1803-1881), who composed the polka Esmeralda, for example. One of the most famous composers of polkas and other dance pieces was JOSEPH LABITZKY (18011881), for long years the conductor of the spa orchestra in Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad). Entertainment music of the time also included social singing for all kinds of occasions. In Czech-speaking society, this is represented particularly by the song collection Vnec ze zpv vlastenskch [A Garland of Patriotic Songs], published in 1835-1839 by FRANTIEK KROUP and JOSEF KRASOSLAV CHMELENSK and by the powerful male choral works on texts of Moravian folk poetry composed by the priest and Augustinian monk in Brno, PAVEL KKOVSK (1820-1885), later the teacher of Leo Janek. The song and dance music demanded by the public popular in the period came our promptly at the Prague publishing houses of Marco Berra and Jan Hoffmann. Composers aspiring to create music in more demanding genres, however, had relatively limited possibilities for professional advancement in these years. JAN AUGUST VITSEK (1770-1839) established himself in church music, becoming successor to Jan Antonn Koeluh in the Cathedral of St. Vitus in Hradany and the rst director of the Prague Organ School. A generation younger, JAN FRIEDRICH KITTL (1809-1868), who had friendly relations with Richard Wagner and composed the successful opera Bianca und Giuseppe oder Die Franzsen vor Nizza on his libretto, was director of the Prague conservatory in 1843-1865. Other composers of the time like the scion of the famous architectural family and Rector of Charles University JAN NEPOMUK KAKA (Kanka, 1772-1865), the country farmer and brother-in-law of the historian Frantiek Palack, LEOPOLD EUGEN MCHURA (1803-1870),


or the lawyer and court ofcial in Prague, Cheb and Litomice WENZEL HEINRICH VEIT (1806-1864), devoted themselves to music only in their leisure time. In the course of the 19th century as before, many outstanding musicians from the Bohemian Lands left for Vienna or beyond the frontiers just in order to have a hope of making a living. They included, for example, V. J. Tomeks pupils JAN VCLAV HUGO VOEK (1791-1825) and IGNAZ MOSCHELES (1794-1870), and also JAN VCLAV KALIVODA (Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda, 1801-1866), who made a successful career as a Kapellmeister and composer in South Germany, the composer of church music ROBERT FHRER (1807-1861), who was highly rated in his time, and violin virtuoso JOSEF SLAVK (1806-1833), a genius who died tragically young, or else another of Tomeks pupils, the piano virtuoso ALEXANDER DREYSCHOCK (1818-1869). The most important composer of the rst half of the 19th century in the Bohemian Lands was VCLAV JAN TOMEK (1774-1850). He studied philosophy and law in Prague, and as a composer was particularly distinguished for his piano music (sonatas and in particular lyrical pieces like eclogues, rhapsodies, dithyrambs and so on) and for his songs on German but also Czech texts, which make him one of the forerunners of Franz Schubert. He also wrote three symphonies, overtures, piano concertos, church music the most outstanding being his Missa solemnis, composed in 1836 for the coronation of Ferdinand V, and his autobiography, which originally came out in German in the Prague journal Libussa. Up to 1815 Tomek worked as a composer and music teacher in the house of Count Buquoy, and later he became a sought-after and well paid private teacher of piano and music theory.

Jan Vclav Hugo Voek, c.1820

Vclav Jan Tomek


is one that may rightly be considered the culminating era in the history of music in the Bohemian Lands. The rapid ascent was made possible by a deep change in social and economic conditions that became fully manifest in the atmosphere of political relaxation at the beginning of the 1860s. At this period music became denitely the most important and internationally the most successful aspect of a Czech culture based on a new bourgeois society and reecting the gradual transformation of the multinational Habsburg monarchy into a modern constitutional state. Opera, still regarded as the most modern and the most prestigious form of music and drama, was once again at the centre of efforts to create a new national art. At the end of 1862 Prozatmn divadlo [The Provisional Theatre], designed exclusively for Czech performances, was opened in Prague. The big Nrodn divadlo [National Theatre] was built in the years 1868-1881, and after a re in August 1881 was re-opened in November 1883. German opera production continued to be served by the Stavovsk divadlo [The Estates Theatre], from 1861 Zemsk [Landestheater], and from 1888 to 1945 Nov nmeck divadlo [New German Theatre], todays Sttn opera [State Opera] in Prague. Since 1868 there was also a permanent Czech opera stage in Pilsen, while in Brno Czech productions could be staged regularly from 1884. In contrast,


public concert life in Prague and other towns (with the exception of the West Bohemian spa centres) for many years lacked a professional symphony orchestra, and acquired one only at the beginning of 1896 in the form of the Czech Philharmonic. Concerts of chamber music, which had previously mainly been performed in private settings, were organised from 1876 by the Prague Kammermusikverein [Association for Chamber Music] and from 1894 esk spolek pro komorn hudbu [Czech Association for Chamber Music]. 1861 saw the launch of the Prague choral society Hlahol, which in subsequent years, like Beseda brnnsk [The Brno Association] choir or the Olomouc erotn choir presented many major choral works, cantatas and oratorios from the Czech and international repertoire. In 1863 Umleck beseda [The Arts Association] was formed, bringing together Czech writers, musicians and ne artists. Its foundation fund Hudebn matice [Music Foundation] nanced the publication of major works by Czech composers, mostly in the form of piano arrangements.

The National Theatre in Prague


BEDICH SMETANA (2. 3. 1824 Litomyl-12. 5. 1884, Prague) carved out for himself the position of founding father in the eld of national music. After studies under Josef Proksch, he worked in the years 1848-56 as a music teacher, pianist, composer and conductor in Prague, and from the autumn of 1856 to the spring of 1861 in Gteborg in Sweden. In these years he mainly composed piano pieces and symphonic poems inspired by the model of Franz Liszt, and his crowning work of the period is his Piano Trio in G Minor of 1855. From 1861 Smetana worked in Prague as conductor of the Hlahol choir, chairman of the music section of the Arts Association, music and theatre critic, music director of the Provisional Theatre (1866-74) and composer of choral music and operas. In the period up to 1874 he composed ve operas in quick successes. While Braniboi v echch [The Brandenburgers in Bohemia] was an attempt at a grand historical opera on the French model, Prodan nevsta [The Bartered Bride] in its original two-act operetta version with spoken dialogues of 1866 was soon proclaimed the exemplar and prototype of Czech national opera. The tragedy Dalibor (1868), on the other hand, once again Bedich Smetana, drawing by M. vabinsk, 1904 conceived with the French opera tradition in mind, was rejected by the public and the critics as unCzech and Wagnerian. The ceremonial mythological opera Libue, completed in 1872 and originally planned as a coronation opera for the heir to the throne Rudolf Habsburg, was rst performed only much later, at the opening of the National Theatre in June 1881. The comic opera, Dv vdovy [The Two Widows] (1873), originally also written with spoken dialogues in the style of the French opra-comique, had its premiere in the spring of 1874. After tragically losing his hearing in October 1874 Smetana withdrew from the limelight and concentrated on composing, hampered by progressive mental illness. The work of his last decade includes the operas Hubika [The Kiss] (1876), Tajemstv [The Secret] (1878) and ertova stna [The Devils Wall] (1882) on texts by the poet Elika Krsnohorsk, the piano cycle Sny [Rves, Dreams] and esk tance [Bohemian Dances], the monumental cycle of six symphonic poems M vlast [My Country or My Fatherland] (1874-1879, performed as a cycle 1882), and both string quartets (1876, 1883). He left only fragments of the opera Viola (based on Shakespeares Twelfth Night) and the symphonic dance cycle Prask karneval [Prague Carnival]. score: Vltava, 1st edition


ANTONN DVOK (8. 9. 1841 Nelahozeves - 1. 5. 1904, Prague), a contemporary and friend of Johannes Brahms, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Edvard Grieg and Leo Janek, was one of the greatest and most versatile European composers of the latter half of the 19th century. He studied at the Prague Organ School and worked for a time as a violist at the Provisional Theatre and organist in the Church of St. Vojtch in Prague. From the mid-1870s he was one of the few composers of his day to work freelance, and later he was appointed rst professor of composition at the conservatory in Prague and director of the National Conservatory of Music in New York, where he spent the years 1892-95. His creative development was quite complex. His early instrumental pieces of 1861-1870 are distinctive for expansiveness of form and compositional daring, sometimes anticipating the musical idiom of the beginning of the 20th century. In the 1870s he wrote his rst operas (Alfred, Krl a uhl [The King and Charcoal Burner], Vanda, Tvrd palice [Stubborn Lovers], elma sedlk [The Cunning Peasant]), kantty (Ddicov Bl Hory [The Heirs of the White Mountain], Stabat Antonn Dvok, c. 1879 mater, 1875), songs and other pieces. In his instrumental work there is now a clear effort at concision and transparency and a great deal of inspiration from dance music (4th and 5th Symphonies, The String Sextet in A Major, The String Quartet in E at Major, Symphonic Variations on the Theme of the Song J jsem husla, Violin Concerto in A Minor etc.). The interest of the public and the publishers was, however, caught more by his small occasionally pieces - Moravsk dvojzpvy [Moravian Duets], Slovansk tance [Slavonic Dances] (1878) and others. In his crowning period in the 1880s he returned to major symphonic works - The 6th, 7th (1885) and 8th (1889) Symphonies, the programmatic overtures V prod [In Natures Realm], Karneval [Carnival] and Othello, and wrote chamber music - String Quartet in C Major, Piano Trio in F Minor, Piano Quintet in A Major, The Piano Trio Dumky and others, piano and vocal music - Poetick nlady [Poetic Moods] for piano, Cignsk melodie [Gypsy Melodies], including the famous song Kdy mne star matka[Songs my mother taught me...], Milostn psn [Love Songs] and others, operas - Dimitrij, Jakobn [The Jacobin] (1888), cantatas and oratorio Svatebn koile [The Spectres Bride], Svat Ludmila [Saint Ludmila] and Requiem, performed to great acclaim in England. The composers experience in America brought a clear change of style with The Symphony No. 9 From the New World (1893), The American String Quartet in F Major (1893), The String Quartet in E Flat Minor, Biblical Songs, The Cello Concerto in B Minor (1895) and the two last string quartets in A at Major and G Major. Dvoks last years were characterised by a return to programmatic music, evident particularly in his symphonic poems Vodnk [The Water Goblin], Polednice [The Noon Witch], Zlat kolovrat [The Golden Spinning Wheel] and Holoubek [The Wild Dove] based on poems by Karel Jaromr Erben, and the romantic fairytale subjects of the operas ert a Ka [The Devil and Kate] (1899), score: Symphony no. 9 in E minor From the Rusalka (1901) and Armida. New World.


The Prague composer ZDENK FIBICH (1850-1900) likewise ranged across all the musical genres of the period in his output, which included symphonies, overtures and symphonic poems, chamber and piano pieces, songs, cantatas and melodramas. He devoted himself most strenuously, however, to music drama. He enriched the repertoire of Czech opera with the titles Nevsta messinsk [The Bride of Messina] based on the tragedy by Friedrich Schiller, Boue [The Tempest] based on William Shakespeare, Hedy based on Byron, rka, Pd Arkuna [The Fall of Arcona] and others. His trio of stage melodramas Hippodamie on a text by the poet Jaroslav Vrchlick Nmluvy Pelopovy [The Courtship of Pelops], Smr Tantalv [The Atonement of Tantalus], Smrt Hippodamie [Hippodamias Death] represented an unique stage experiment in its time and one that was hard to repeat, while his chamber or concert melodramas with piano or orchestral accompaniment developed a form that was very much cultivated and enjoyed great popularity throughout the 19th century. In the years 1892-1898 Fibich then wrote several hundred short piano pieces that he arranged and published in ten instalments under the title Nlady, dojmy a upomnky [Moods, Impressions and Reminiscences].

K. Bendl, A. Dvok, J. B. Foerster, J. K` aan z Albest, K. Kovaovic, Z. Fibich (from the left), 1885


Other opera composers who enjoyed success at the time were KAREL EBOR (1843-1903), whose debut opera Templi na Morav [The Templars in Moravia] successfully competed with Smetanas Braniboi [Brandenburgers in Bohemia], and the professor of ute at the Prague Conservatory VILM (Wilhelm) BLODEK (1834-1874), who contributed the comic one-acter V studni [In the Well] to the domestic repertoire. KAREL BENDL (1838-1897), a friend of Antonn Dvok and for two years the choirmaster of the Prague Hlahol choir, was a prolic composer the most successful of whose works were the opera Lejla on a historical-oriental theme and the village comedy Star enich [The Old Bridegroom]. JOSEF RICHARD ROZKON (18331913) had particular success with his romantic opera Svatojansk proudy [The St. John Rapids] and the fairytale Popelka [Cinderella], while the piano virtuoso and professor (later also director) of the Prague Conservatory ` ` JINDICH KAAN z ALBEST (HENRI DE KAAN-ALBEST, 1852-1926) attempted, among other things, to produce a musical arrangement of Emile Zolas novel Germinal. Among younger composers we should mention the harpist and conductor of the National Theatre orchestra KAREL KOVAOVIC (1862-1920), who wrote the operas Psohlavci [Dog-Heads] and Na Starm blidle [At the Old Bleaching Ground] on popular stories by Alois Jirsek and Boena Nmcov, and Dvoks pupil and later collector of South Bohemian folksongs KAREL WEISS (1862-1944), whose most successful opera Polsk id [The Polish Jew] was premiered at the Prague German Theatre in 1901. In the eld of popular dance and marching music, these were years of success for KAREL KOMZK senior (1823-1893), whose band played in Prague in 1854-1865 (for a short time the young Antonn Dvok was a member) and later FRANTIEK KMOCH (1848-1912) and JULIUS FUK (1873-1916). Among performers, violinists FERDINAND LAUB (1832-1875) and FRANTIEK ONDEK (1857-1922), the rst performer of the Dvok Violin Concerto, won international recognition, as did the cellist HANU WIHAN (1855-1920), to whom Dvok dedicated his famous Concerto in B Minor. The Brno born WILHELMINE NORMANNERUDA (1839-1911), who came from a large family of musicians, became the most famous female violin virtuoso of the latter part of the 19th century and during her long concert career appeared not only throughout Europe, but also in the USA, South Africa and Australia. The singer TEREZIE STOLZOV (TERESA STOLZ, 1834-1902), a close friend of the composer, excelled on Italian stages in the years 1863-79 in the leading roles of the operas of Giuseppe Verdi. For almost half a century the rst conductor of the Court Opera in St. Petersburg was the composer and conductor of Czech origin EDUARD NPRAVNK (1839-1916). At the turn of the 19th/20th century the opera soprano EMMA DESTINNOV (EMMY DESTINN, 1878-1930) and the tenor KAREL Terezie Stolzov (Carl) BURIAN (1870-1924) won worldwide fame, as did the violin virtuoso JAN KUBELK (1880-1940). Czech music theory, aesthetics and criticism also developed strongly in the latter third of the 19th century. The major gure here was the professor at Prague University OTAKAR HOSTINSK (1847-1910), a supporter of Bedich Smetana and friend of Zdenk Fibich, the author of numerous reviews and theoretical aesthetic studies of Czech music, and of several opera librettos. The opponents of Hostinsk included, for example, FRANTIEK PIVODA (1824-1898), whose private singing school produced a number of leading singers on the Czech and international operatic stage.


saw the climax of the developmental trends of the previous period. Czech music culture in the period before the 1st World War was a highly distinctive and rich complex, comparable in quality of composition, representation of genres and kinds and breadth of musical production with the cultures of the major European nations. The events of the war, the disintegration of the Habsburg Empire and the establishment of the First Czechoslovak Republic in October 1918 naturally meant a radical break and fundamental transformation of the institutional framework, but it was one that the overwhelming majority of Czech musicians and public viewed in unambiguously positive terms. There is no doubt that the towering personality of these years was LEO JANEK (3. 7. 1854 Hukvaldy 12. 8. 1928 Ostrava). He was born in Northern Moravia and studied in Brno, Prague, Leipzig and Vienna. From the beginning of the 1880s he worked in Brno as choirmaster, conductor, professor and director of the local Organ School (which he himself founded on the model of Prague) and as a collector of folksongs. Up to the 1890s he composed relatively little and in the spirit of tradition: Suite for String Orchestra, Lask tance [Lachian Dances], the operas rka (1887, 1925) and Potek romnu [The Beginning of a Romance] (1891), the cantata Amarus (1897) and others. The culminating achievement of this period is his opera Jej pastorkya, otherwise known as Jenfa (1894-1903) based on the drama of the same name by the writer Gabriela Preissov, premiered in Brno in 1904, although its performance in Prague had to wait until 1916. From the end of the 19th century Janek turned to the study of spoken language as the bearer of emotional communication and collected and recorded in note form what he called speech-melodies (npvky mluvy), or short extracts of utterances and dialogues in all kinds of speech and life situations, which later formed the starting point for his Leo Janek, c. 1880 own specic form of vocally dramatic expression as a composer. He was also distinctive for his love of Russian culture and literature. Janek produced most of his important work after 1904, when he gave up regular teaching activity. By 1918 he had written the operas Osud [Fate] (1906), Vlety pana Brouka [The Excursions of Mr. Brouek] (1917), the male choral works The Teacher Halfar (1906), Maryka Magdonova (1907), 70 000 (1909) on words by the Moravian poet Petr Bezru, the piano works Po zarostlm chodnku [On an Overgrown Path] (1900-11), V mlhch [In the Mists] (1912)


and The Sonata 1. X. 1905 (1905), the symphonic ballad umaovo dt [The Fiddlers Child] (1913) and the threemovement orchestral rhapsody Taras Bulba (1915). After 1918 Janek achieved international recognition and came to rank with composers more than a generation younger such as Bla Bartk, Igor Stravinsky and Paul Hindemith as the leading representatives of European music between the two world wars. Today he is justly regarded as one of the greatest operatic composers of the 20th century. Among the works of his last creative period we should mention the operas Ka Kabanov (1921), Phody Liky Byxtrouky [The Cunning Little Vixen] (1923), Vc Makropulos [The Makropulos Case] (1925) and Z mrtvho domu [From the House of the Dead] (1928), the male choral work Potuln lenec [The Wandering Madman] (1922), the song cycle Zpisnk zmizelho [The Diary of One who Disappeared] for tenor, alto, female choir and piano (1919); two string quartets (1923, 1928), The Concertino (1925) and Capriccio for piano (1926), kadla [Nursery Rhymes] for voice and small instrumental ensemble (1926), Sinfonietta for orchestra (1926) and the great Glagolsk me [Glagolitic Mass] for soloists, choir, orchestra A Diary of One Who Disappeared, authograph and organ (1926). Janeks writings on musical theory, reviews and feuilletons are an important part of his work. Janeks contemporary JOSEF BOHUSLAV FOERSTER (1859-1951), son of the professor at the Organ School, music theorist and choir director at St. Vojtchs, JOSEF FRSTER (1833-1907), worked in the years 1893-1918 in Hamburg, where he became friends with Gustav Mahler, and later in Vienna. In his extensive output, printed only in part and mainly written in a traditional spirit, what stand out most are his songs on Czech and German texts, including Psn na slova K. H. Mchy [Songs on Words by K.H. Mcha] and Milostn psn na slova R. Thkura [Love Songs on Words by R. Tagore], the male choral pieces on texts by Josef Vclav Sldek Or [The Ploughman], Poln cestou [Field Path], Velk, ir, rodn lny [Great, Wide, Native Fields] etc., among his symphonies The 4th Symphony in C Minor with the title Velik noc [Easter] and of his operas Eva, composed on the basis of Gabriela Preissovs stage play Gazdina roba [The Farmers Wench]. Foersters memoirs, published in four volumes under the title Poutnk [The Pilgrim] are of both literary and documentary value. The two leading gures in the generation of composers born around 1870 were both pupils of Antonn Dvok. These were Vtzslav Novk and Josef Suk, considered to be protagonists of Czech musical modernism.


VTZSLAV NOVK (1870-1949) studied not only piano and composition, but also law at Prague University. At the beginning of his career as composer he was strongly inuenced by the Romantic tradition. At the end of the 1890s he discovered Moravian and Slovak folk music, and this was reected in his arrangement of folksongs Slovensk spevy [Slovak Songs] etc., and his compositions on folk texts, but also in his piano Sonata in F Major (Sonata eroica, 1900) and his popular Slovck suita [Slovcko Suite] for small orchestra (1903). Novks best works in the period before the 1st World War include the song cycles Melancholie [Melancholia], Melancholick psn o lsce [Melancholic Songs about Love] (1906) and dol novho krlovstv [The Valley of the New Kingdom] on texts by the poet Antonn Sova (1903), his Piano Trio in D Minor, String Quartets in G Major and D Major (1899, 1905), piano cycles Psn zimnch noc [Songs of Winter Nights] and Pan inspired by the novella of the same name by the Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun, the symphonic poems V Tatrch [In the Tatras], O vn touze [The Eternal Longing] (1904) and Toman a lesn panna [Toman and the Wood Nymph] (1907), the cantatas the Boue [The Storm] on words by Svatopluk ech (1908-12) and Svatebn koile [The Spectres Bride] on the poem by K. J. Erben. Ballet Signorina Giovent (1926-28) was inuenced by avant-garde aesthetics. Of his later works the most striking is his Jihoesk suita [South Bohemian Suite] for orchestra (1937). For many years a professor at the Prague Conservatory, Vtzslav Novk taught several generations of composers, who came to him not only from the Czech Lands, but from the lands of the former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Rumania, the Ukraine and elsewhere. JOSEF SUK (1874-1935), for many years a violinist in the Czech Quartet (the rst professional Czech quartet, and active 1892-1933), rst became a composer under the inuence of his teacher and father-in-law Antonn Dvok, as is clear, for example, from his popular String Serenade in E at or early Symphony in E Major. He then developed his own distinctive tone with stage music for Julius Zeyers fairytale plays Radz a Mahulena and Pod jablon [Under the Apple Tree] (1899 and 1901), the piano cycles Jaro [Spring], O matince [About Mother], ivotem a snem [Things Lived and Dreamt] and Ukolbavky [Lullabies], and also Four Pieces for violin and piano, Phantasia in G Minor for violin and orchestra, Fantastic Scherzo for Orchestra, the symphonic poem Praga and especially The Second String Quartet of 1911. Suks free cycle of four programmatic symphonies and symphonic poems Asrael (1906, in memory of Antonn Dvok and Otilie Dvok-Suk), Pohdka lta [A Summer Tale] (1909), Zrn [Ripening] (1917) and Epilogue (1932) rank among the best European orchestral works of the rst third of the 20th century.

Vtzslsav Novk

Josef Suk, 1906


A fellow student of V. Novk and J. Suk in Dvoks composition class, OSKAR NEDBAL (1874-1930) became violist of the Czech Quartet and later a well-known conductor. He also made a name for himself as a composer of ballets including Pohdka o Honzovi [The Tale of Johnnie] (1902), Z pohdky do pohdky [From Tale to Tale] (1908) and the operettas Polsk krev [Polish Blood] (1913) and Vinobran [The Vintage] (1916). OTAKAR OSTRIL (1879-1935) was a private pupil of Zdenk Fibich. He worked rst as a teacher of foreign languages at secondary school, but then as conductor in the The Town Theatre in Krlovsk Vinohrady and from 1918 to his death as head of the opera at the National Theatre in Prague, where he could take credit not only for the staging of the complete operas of Bedich Smetana and W. A. Mozart, but also for the Prague premiere of Alban Bergs opera Wozzeck. The orchestral variations Kov cesta [Calvary] are among the high points of his work. Among his operas we might mention at least Honzovo krlovstv [Johnnys Kingdom] (1933) based on a tale by Lev Tolstoy, which was Ostrils last work. Of the composers who came to prominence after the First World War, pride of place must go to BOHUSLAV MARTIN (8. 12. 1890 Polika - 28. 8. 1959 Liestal by Basel), pupil of Josef Suk and Albert Roussel. He worked rst in Prague (for a short time as a violinist in the Czech Philharmonic) and then in Paris in the years 1923-40. The Nazi invasion of France forced him to emigrate to the USA. After the end of the 2nd World War he lived and worked successively in France, Italy and in Switzerland, where he died. After the communist takeover he could never return to his homeland. Bohuslav Martins early works such as the ballet Istar or the cantata esk rapsodie [Czech Rhapsody], performed with great success at the beginning of 1919, grow out of the late romantic musical tradition. With his arrival in Paris, however, the composer changed direction, inuenced by new trends and particularly enchantment with jazz and other expressions of modern metropolitan civilisation. From the end of the 1920s he then turned to the Neo-Classicism represented by Igor Stravinsky, but also to the sources of Bohemian and Moravian folk song and folk theatre. His work from his American and post-war periods revives and more explicitly develops the legacy of the 19th century (as far as instrumental settings, genres and forms are concerned). Of the more than 400 works of Bohuslav Martin we should mention the operas Vojk a tanenice [The Soldier and the Dancer] (1927), jazz ballet Kuchysk revue [The Kitchen Revue] (1927), opera-lm Ti pn [Three Wishes] (1929), the sung ballet palek [The Chapbook] (1932) and the opera-ballet Hry o Marii [The Miracles of Mary] (1933-34), Hlas lesa [Voice of the Wood] {1935), famous opera Julietta aneb sn [Julietta or the Book of Dream] on a Surrealist stage play by Georges Neveux (1936-37), Divadlo za brnou [The Theatre behind the Gate] (1937). Bohuslav Martin


Among his major orchestral works we should then mention the six symphonies and particularly the last, which bears the name Fantaisies symphoniques (1953), further Pamtnk Lidicm [Memorial to Lidice] (1943), Fresky Piera della Fransceska [Frescoes of Piero della Francesca] (1953) and Paraboly [The Parables] for large orchestra (1958), as well as the ve concertos for piano and orchestra (especially No. 4 Incantations), the two violin concertos, the two cello concertos and the Concerto for oboe (1955). The most remarkable pieces that he wrote for chamber and smaller ensembles include the seven string quartets, the Concerto grosso and Tre ricercari for string orchestra (1938), and the Double Concerto for two string orchestras, piano and timpani (1938). Martins outstanding achievements in cantata and oratorio include Kytice [Bouquet of Flowers] (1937) on folk poetry, Poln me [Field Mass] (1939) and in the 1950s Epos Gilgame [The Epic of Gilgamesh], Proroctv Izaiovo [The Prophecy of Isaiah] (1959), and the trio of small cantatas Otvrn studnek [The Opening of the Wells], Legenda z dmu bramborov nati [A Legend of the Smoke from Potato Fires], Romance z pampeliek [The Romance of the Dandelions], and Mike z hor [Mike from the Mountains] on texts by his compatriot Miloslav Bure. Further Martins famous operas are The Greek Passion (after the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, 1954-61 in two versions), and Ariane (again after Georges Neveux), composed in the years 1927-58. The main protagonist of the experimental line in composition in this country was ALOIS HBA (1893-1973), who studied in Prague with Vtzslav Novk and in Vienna and Berlin with Franz Schreker. He made a name as the creator and propagator of quarter-tone and sixth-tone music. His main works include the operas Matka [Mother] (1929), Nov zem [New Land] (1936) and Pij krlovstv Tv Nezamstnan [Thy Kingdom Come-Unemployeds] (1942), 13 string quartets and other instrumental pieces. He was apparently inspired to micro-interval composing by the study of Wallachian and Moravian Slovak folksong, he designed and constructed special musical instruments (the four-tone piano etc) and developed a system for the written notation of micro-intervals. Another important composers of this generation included for example LADISLAV VYCPLEK (1882-1969), who worked for more than thirty years in the University (today National) Library in Prague, where in 1922 he founded the music section. As a composer he was a student of V. Novk and wrote mainly vocal works with serious spiritual content such as Kantta o poslednch vcech lovka [Cantata on the Last Things of Man] (1921) on Moravian folksong texts, Blahoslaven ten lovk [Blessed Is That Man] (1933) or esk rekviem [Czech Requiem] (1940). JAROSLAV KIKA (1882-1969) studied in Prague and in Berlin, and later became well-known primarily as a teacher and choirmaster and the author of songs and other pieces for children. OTAKAR JEREMI (1892-1962) made a name as an important conductor and radio worker in the period between the two world wars and as the author of the opera Brati Karamazovi [The Brothers Karamazov] (1927) based on Dostoyevskys famous novel. Another composer closely associated with Czechoslovak radio was KAREL BOLESLAV JIRK (1891-1972), who left to live in the USA after the Second World War. PAVEL BOKOVEC (1894-1972) was a pupil of Josef Suk and later professor of composition at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts. He composed numerous instrumental works most of them with a Neo-Classical orientation, and of his stage works the ballet Krysa [The Pied Piper] of 1939 is outstanding. Leo Janeks pupil PAVEL HAAS (1899-1944) was imprisoned in Theresienstadt and perished in the Auschwitz extermination camp. A somewhat younger group included IA KREJ (1904-1968), son of the philosopher and university professor F. V. Krej and a composer whose Neo-Classical musical idiom possessed great individuality and humour. Other representatives of this age group were EMIL FRANTIEK BURIAN (1904-1959), who devoted


himself to experiments in music theatre, and JAROSLAV JEEK (1906-1942), well-known as the conductor and composer of songs at the popular Osvobozen divadlo [Liberated Theatre], but who also composed serious works (two string quartets, a Concerto and Fantasia for piano and orchestra, the Sonata for piano and others). VTZSLAVA KAPRLOV (1915-1940), daughter of the composer and music teacher VCLAV KAPRL (1889-1947), a pupil and intimate friend of Bohuslav Martin in Paris, was a composer of great promise who died tragically young. The outstanding Czech reputation in the eld of orchestral and opera performance owed much to VCLAV TALICH (1883-1961), who became famous as a conductor of the works of J. Suk, L. Janek and B. Martin, among others, and later KAREL ANERL (1908-1973), who survived imprisonment in the Theresienstadt Ghetto. Likewise the phenomenal pianist RUDOLF FIRKUN (1912-1994), who settled permanently in the USA from 1939, often performed works by Czech composers, above all Bohuslav Martin. In the same period JARMILA NOVOTN (1907-1994) became a world famous singer. The composer JAROMR WEINBERGER (1896-1967) gained an international reputation for his popular folk opera vanda dudk [vanda the Bagpiper] (after the fairytale play by J. K. Tyl, 1927). In 1938 he emigrated to the USA, as the highly successful operetta composer RUDOLF FRIML (1879-1972) had done years before him, or the Brno born ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD (1897-1957), who made a career as the composer of lm music in Hollywood. Among composers of light and popular music we should mention at least the names of the cabaret singer, actor and director KAREL HALER (1879-1941), who died in a concentration camp, and the composer JAROMR VEJVODA (1902-1988), author of the world famous melody koda sky [Rosamunde or the Beer Barrels-Polka] (1934). Up to the outbreak of the 2nd World War, German musical culture in Bohemia also produced notable composers and performers. Its central institution was the Prague German Opera, which particularly in the twenty-ve years when it was directed by ANGELO NEUMANN (1838-1910) could boast excellent performers and a vibrant repertoire. In the 1885-1886 season the young GUSTAV MAHLER (1860-1911) worked here as conductor after a short engagement in Olomouc. After Neumanns death, ALEXANDER VON ZEMLINSKY (1872-1941) came to Prague and was later engaged as director of the opera and professor at the German music academy in the years 1911-1927. In 1924 he directed the world premiere of his Lyrical Symphony on texts by R. Tagore here, and the opera monodrama Erwartung by his friend Arnold Schnberg. He was later to go to Berlin and in 1938 into emigration in the USA. Many talented Bohemian German composers and musicians who did not manage to emigrate in time perished in Nazi extermination camps. They included ERWIN SCHULHOFF (1893-1942), PAVEL HAAS (1899-1944), VIKTOR ULLMANN (1898-1944), HANS KRASA (1899-1944) Hans Krsa and GIDEON KLEIN (1919-1945).



The Post-war Years and the Fifties The immediate post-war years (1945-1948) saw a great deal of musical activity and many fundamental changes. Contacts were re-established with the outside world, new musical institutions were founded and old institutions were transformed. In October 1945 The Czech Philharmonic became a state institution, new symphony orchestras were formed (e.g. The Moravian Philharmonic) and new opera companies were established in former German theatres (st nad Labem, Liberec, Opava). In 1946 the international Prague Spring Festival, the brainchild of R.Kubelk, was held for the rst time. The music of Shostakovich, Prokoev, Stravinsky, Honegger, Messiaen, Britten, Bartk, Hindemith and other modern composers was played in Bohemia, and leading artists who came to perform in the country included the conductor Charles Munch, the violinist David Oistrakh and Leonard Bernstein. Czech music was played at festivals abroad. Many works written in reaction to the German occupation were now premiered, for example Mjov symfonie [May Symphony] (1939-43) by VTZSLAV NOVK (1870-1949), esk rekviem [Czech Requiem] (1940) by LADISLAV VYCPLEK (1882-1969) or the Symfonie svobody [Symphony of Liberty] (1940-41) by ERWIN SCHULHOFF (1894-1942). Among the younger generation MILOSLAV KABEL (1908-1979) caught public attention with his chamber cantata Neustupujte [Do not retreat] (1939). Film music developed rapidly as a genre. The most notable stage and lm music composers of the time were VCLAV TROJAN (1907-1983), who from 1945 worked mainly with the artist-animator Ji Trnka and won various prizes in the genre (e.g. with the music for the fairytale lm Bajaja in 1950, Sen noci svatojnsk Miloslav Kabel [A Midsummer Nights Dream], 1960) and JI SRNKA (1907-1982), who had been active in the Thirties and wrote the music for more than a hundred and twenty lms (eka aruje [The River Bewitches], 1945, Msc nad ekou [Moon over the River], 1953, Vl jma [The Wolf Pit], 1957 Oban Brych [Citizen Brych] 1958).


The communist takeover in February 1948 meant another sharp change for Czech musical life. The theories of the Stalinist ideologue A. A. Zhdanov became ofcial doctrine in the arts and control over new music and its performance was soon handed over to the centralised Union of Czechoslovak Composers. The Zhdanovites raged against formalism, subjectivism and cosmopolitanism, and initially regarded not just Western Modernism, but Leo Janek, Bohuslav Martin and Alois Hba as thorns in their side. They called for a return to traditional national values, above all to the work of Bedich Smetana, and demanded socially engaged themes. The cantata and mass song became prominent musical genres. The leading proponents of Zhdanovite aesthetics were the musicologist Antonn Sychra, the music critic Miroslav Barvk and composers JOSEF STANISLAV (1897-1971), JAN SEIDEL (1908-1998; e.g. the mass song Kupedu, zptky ni krok [Forward, not a Step Backwards]) and VCLAV DOBI (1909-1978), the composer of the cantata Buduj vlast, posl mr [Build the Homeland and You will Strengthen Peace] (1950) and the nonet O rodn zemi [Oh, Native Land] (1952), but also Sonatas for Piano, Strings, Wind Quintet and Tympani (1947), which was regarded in the Fifties as a concession to modernism. In the background, however, works were being written by composers who refused to tow the ofcial line. ALOIS HBA (1893-1973) continued to compose his microtonal and twelve-tone music (e.g. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Op. 83, string quartets), while Miloslav Kabel carried on with the development of his highly individual musical idiom, founded on a strict attention to structure (Mysterium asu [The Mystery of Time, 3rd and 4th Symphonies). KLEMENT SLAVICK (1910-1999) drew on Moravian folklore (Moravsk tanen fantasie [Moravian Dance Fantasies], Rapsodick variace [Rhapsodic Variations]) in his music and JAROSLAV DOUBRAVA (1909-1960) used similar sources. JAN HANU (1915-2004) composed highly expressive stage and symphonic music and liturgical pieces for use in church. In the later Fifties the work of the younger generation showed the increasing inuence of NeoClassicism, clear for example in the music of ILJA HURNK (*1922), VIKTOR KALABIS (*1923), JINDICH FELD (*1925), or LUBOR BRTA (19281972). One reason was undoubtedly the fact that at this period the leading Czech pre-war representatives of Neo-Classicism were still active: they were IA KREJ (1904-1968) and PAVEL BOKOVEC (1894-1972), who as a professor at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts educated several generations of pupils. The music of BOHUSLAV MARTIN (1890-1959) was also a source of inspiration. For a short time the Brno composer JAN NOVK (1921-1984) was a pupil of Martin. The crowning work of this period is considered to be Vokln symfonie [The Vocal Symphony] (1958) by VLADIMR SOMMER (1921-1997) on texts by F. Kafka, F. M. Dostoyevsky and C. Pavese.
Vladimr Sommer


The Sixties After the mild political thaw at the end of the Fifties, information about the new trends in western post-war music began to get through to Czechoslovakia. Debates about the compositional techniques of what was known as the the New Music, and above all twelve-tone and serial music, initially took place on a purely theoretical level. New specialised chamber groups were needed if people were actually to have the chance to hear specic pieces. Over the Fifties only The Novk Quartet (up to 1955 The Hba Quartet) attempted to keep up with world trends, but the beginning of the Sixties saw the founding in Prague of the wind Chamber Harmonic led by conductor Libor Peek and much of its repertoire written by Jan Klusk. A little later came Musica viva Pragensis, an instrumentally variable ensemble led by Milan Kostohryz. It was associated with the circle of composers Jan Rychlk, Zbynk Vostk, Vladimr rmek and Marek Kopelent, and also played music composed by its own autist Petr Kotk and bassoonist Rudolf Komorous. In Brno the Musica Nova group emerged, whose founder, bass clarinettist Josef Hork, later moved to Prague where he founded the Sonatori di Praga ensemble and then the duo Due Bohemi di Praga . Brno was also the home of Studio autor [The Studio of Authors]. Composers groups were formed. Brno Skupina A [The Group A] brought together the composers Josefa Berg, Miloslav Itvan, Alois Pios, the musicologist Milena ernohorsk and others, and Prask Skupina Nov hudby [The Prague New Music Group] included the composers Marek Kopelent, Rudolf Komorous, Vladimr rmek and Zbynk Vostk and the theoreticians Vladimr Lbl, Eduard Herzog and Josef Bek. Communications with the outside world continued to improve Czech composers attended the Warsaw Autumn Festival and went to Darmstadt, while guests in Czechoslovakia included Olivier Messiaen, Luigi Nono, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Schaeffer.

The Prague New Music Group: Marek Kopelent, Rudolf Komorous, Vladimr Lbl, Josef Bek, Zbynk Vostk, Eduard Herzog, Vladimr rmek (from the left)

In the course of the Sixties composers of the young, middle and older generation gradually came to understand the impulses of the New Music, but the inuence was expressed in their music in various different ways. Some were inspired to a radical stylistic transformation (Zbynk Vostk), others used the new composing techniques to enrich personal musical idioms that they had already rened (Jindich Feld), while yet others were only glancingly touched by the movement (Ilja Hurnk).


One of the rst to apply the principles of the twelve-tone scale and serialism was JAN KLUSK (*1934). While still a student Klusk had attracted attention with a series of pieces in Neo-Classicist style, but this creative phase ended in 1959 with his 3rd Symphony and in 1960 Klusk wrote his rst piece inuenced by the New Music - tyi mal hlasov cvien [Four Small Voice Exercises] on texts by Franz Kafka. This was soon followed by Klusks most important work of this period, the orchestral Variations on a Theme of Gustav Mahler (1962), in which he varied the Adagietto from Mahlers Fifth Symphony using serial technique. In his Inventions Klusk elaborated the idea of a one-movement serial form as a sound monolith with the maximum density of internal relationships. An interest in astrology and magic also played an important role in the development of Klusks composing techniques. MAREK KOPELENT (*1932) initially composed in Neo-Romantic style, but at the beginning of the Sixties he turned to twelve-tone music and serialism. His rst piece to reect these new inuences was the freely dodecaphonic Nnie s tnou za zemelou Hanu Hlavsovou [Nenie with Flute for the Late Hana Hlavsov] (1961), but in the composers view his rst genuine work in the new mode was the 3rd String Quartet (1963). This combines serial technique with the principles of classic drama, and was performed abroad by The Novk Quartet. Kopelent also wrote a series of vocal pieces in which he explored the acoustic quality of the word (Snehah, 1967). The bassoonist and composer RUDOLF KOMOROUS (*1931) had already leant towards the avant-garde in the Fifties, when he had been part of the group of mainly visual artists, midrs, that developed the poetics of strangeness under the inuence of Dada. This tendency was reected in his music as well, which has more afnity with John Cage and American experimental music than to the European avant-garde. Komorous worked with concrete sounds, unconventional musical instruments (water nightingale, mass bells, castanets and suchlike) and silence played a major role in his pieces (e.g. Sladk krlovna [Sweet Queen], 1963). Another who was attracted to experiment and Cage was the composer and autist PETR KOTK (*1942), leader of the performance-art orientated QUAX Ensemble (1966-69). LUBO FIER (1935-1999) found inspiration in the music of Stravinsky, Prokoev and Martin, and was inuenced by aleatoric and timbre music developed by what was known as the Polish School (Lutosawski, Penderecki and others). He used concise forms with a reduction in the tone material. His best works of the period are the chamber opera Lancelot (1960), the orchestral Patnct list podle Drerovy Apokalypsy [Fifteen Prints Based on Drers Apocalypse], which won prizes in the Prague Spring and UNESCO competitions (1965), and the choral Caprichos (1966). Fier composed for lm as well as for the concert hall he has written more than 300 lm scores, some of them integral to the whole cinematopgraphic concept (Bludit noci [Labyrinth of Night], Dotek Motla [The Buttery Touch] etc.).

Jan Klusk

Marek Kopelent

Lubo Fier


Several composers of the middle generation also made basic changes to their musical language under the inuence of the New Music. Up to the beginning of the Sixties ZBYNK VOSTK (1920-1985) had been a successful composer of ballets and operas in the Late Romantic and Neo-Classicist style, but around his fortieth year he radically changed his entire idiom. He tried out a series of New Music techniques serial composition (Kyvadlo asu [The Pendulum of Time], 1966-67), aleatorics (Metahudba [Meta-Music, 1968), conceptual music (Kniha princip [The Book of Principles], 1973) and electronic music (Vhy svtla [Scales of Light], 1967, Dv ohniska [Two Foci], 1970). The unifying principle of Vostks compositional style was his own special method of organising contrast within a composition.

Zbynk Vostk

Zbynk Vostk - Kyvadlo asu / The Pendulum of Time, autograph, 1966-67


JAN RYCHLK (1916-1964) was a very versatile gure and from the beginning his musical range included not only classical music but also jazz, to which he devoted himself as a drummer, arranger, composer and theoretician. For Rychlk, interest in New Music was connected with his long years of fascination with nonEuropean and Medieval music, as is reected in his best-known composition Africk cyklus [African Cycle] (1961), which seems to pregure the Steve Reichs Minimalist pieces of the Seventies. New Music in the Sixties also had a major impact on JAN KAPR (1914-1988), a composer who had succumbed to the inuence of Socialist Realism in the Forties and Fifties. Inspired by the techniques of the New Music, Kapr began to devote more attention on sound colour and seek out new possibilities in musical instruments and the human voice (Cvien pro Gydli [ Exercises for Gidli], 1967). The composer and musicologist JARMIL BURGHAUSER (1921-1997) created his own composition technique, which he called harmonic serialism and employed together with the principles of aleatorics in his anti-opera, Most [Bridge] (1964). Jan Kapr The impulses of New Music were also taken up by the young Brno composers. As a student MILOSLAV ITVAN (1928-1990) admired Janek and Bartk and studied Moravian, and later also Balkan, Asian and African folklore. At the beginning of the sixties he adopted twelve-tone technique, but modal series associated with Moravian folk music still dominated his work. In his vocal compositions Zaklnn asu [Putting a Spell on Time] (1967) a J, Jakob [I, Jacob] (1968) Itvan developed the method of cutting and montage that became the distinctive feature of his work. It allowed Itvan to juxtapose all kinds of different musical material, from Renaissance and Baroque music to rock. He was also the author of concrete music (e.g. Ostrov Miloslav Itvan hraek [Island of Toys], 1968). ALOIS PIOS (*1925) developed his own system for the rational organisation of tone material and pioneered team composition in this country together with ARNOT PARSCH (*1936), RUDOLF RIKA (*1941) and MILO TDRO (*1942). He composed the pieces Peripetie [Peripetia], Divertissement and Ecce homo. He also produced multimedia work (Statick hudba [Static Music], Me [Grille], Geneze [Genesis]) and happenings. He is the author of many theoretical studies. JOSEF BERG (1927-1971) was a multitalented artist, with interests in literature and theatre as well as music. He is known primarily as the composer of highly individual chamber operas, including Evropsk turistika [European Tourism] (1963), Eufrides ped branami Tymn [Euphrides before the Gates of Tymen] (1964) and the unnished magnum opus Johannes Doctor Faustus. From the mid sixties, electro-acoustic music was taken up and developed in Czechoslovakia. It was mainly on the initiative of Miloslav Kabel, Eduard Herzog and Vladimr Lbl that a specialised studio was set up at the Plze Radio (1965), and seminars were organised involving important gures from abroad (Pierre Schaeffer, G. M. Koenig etc.). Kabels E fontibus bohemicis (1965-72) may be regarded as the high point of this kind of music in the period, but the electronic opera Nevstka Raab [The Harlot Raab] (1971) by JAROSLAV KREK (*1939) is also a remarkable piece. Other founders of Czech electro-acoustic music included the composer RUDOLF RIKA (*1941): Elektronia A, 1964, Gurges, 1969, MILO HAASE (*1948): Pocta A. Drerovi [In Honour of A. Drer], 1968, Per aspera ad astra, 1969, and MILOSLAV HLAV (*1923): Logogenesis, 1968, Astroepos, 1969, Chimerion, 1969. Jaroslav Krek, a pupil


of M. Kabel, is also a specialist on research into folk music and its stylisation, which he successfully presented with two ensembles, Chorea bohemica and Musica bohemica. Apart from work orientated to the New Music, more traditional, expansively tonal compositions continued to be written in the sixties, and in quantitative terms these predominated in musical life. Certain symphonic works of the time are particularly effective, for example the cantatas of SVATOPLUK HAVELKA (*1925) Chvla svtla [In Praise of Light] (1959), Heptameron (1963) or Variace na tma a smrt Jana Rychlka [Variations on a Theme and the Death of Jan Rychlk] by OTMAR MCHA (*1922). PETR EBEN (*1929), for whom early sacred music, especially Gregorian chant, is a central source of inspiration, took his own path. Among his most important works of this period are the oratorio Apologia Socratus (1967) on a text by Plato and the symphonic movement for three trumpets and orchestra Vox clamantis (1969). Eben is also a highly respected organist and improviser. His organ pieces became favourites with performers (Nedln hudba [Sunday Music], Okna [Windows], Job, and others). It was in the sixties that Miloslav Kabel, one of the greatest gures in Czech music of the later 20th century, wrote his best works. Kabels music always took its place within the context of the most recent movements in world music and the new composing techniques arriving from the West were not so much a surprise to him as a conrmation of his own direction to date (Zrcadlen [Mirroring], 1963-64). Kabel had a long-term interest in non-European music and this left traces in both his way of working with modes (Ohlasy dlav [Echoes of remoteness], 1962-63, Eufemias Mysterion, 1964-65), and in his works for solo percussion (Otto invenzioni, 1962). The word was also acquiring every greater weight in his compositions (7th and 8th Symphonies, 1967-68 /1969-70). The Seventies and Eighties The events of 1968 had a huge impact on the next two decades of Czech music. A number of important gures in Czech culture emigrated, among them the composers Jan Novk (Denmark, Italy, West Germany) and Rudolf Komorous, who became a leading teacher of composition and theory in Canada (at institutions including the University of Victoria). Petr Kotk left for the USA, where he founded the S.E.M. Ensemble specialising in American experimental music (Cage, Feldman, Wolff, Brown etc.). KAREL HUSA (*1921), who had already emigrated to the United States after his studies in Paris back in the fties, now wrote Music for Prague 1968 as a response to the Warsaw Pact invasion, and it became one of the most frequently performed American symphonic works of all time. Many composers who stayed were hit hard by what was euphemistically called the normalisation of political conditions. Jan Klusk, for example, whose concert music was banned from performance, had to fall back on commissions for lm and television to make a living, the works of Marek Kopelent were played more or less only abroad, while Zbynk Vostk, like many other composers, writes his most mature works in complete isolation. The Union of Composers in Bohemia and Moravia was dissolved and re-founded with just a handful of conformists. Here the determining factor was political attitude, since unlike in the Fifties there was no major pressure on the style of art. This meant that even some composers who had adopted techniques from the New Music could go on working ofcially, and representing this kind of music at festivals abroad


(VCLAV KUERA, *1929, JAN TAUSINGER, 1921-1980, LADISLAV KUBK *1946). For many composers the Seventies and Eighties were a period of synthesis of musical techniques very much in the service of messages from outside music as such. These decades saw the culminating works of composers born around the beginning of the 20th century. KLEMENT SLAVICK (1910-1999), for example, wrote his 4th Symphonietta Pax hominibus in universo orbi for strings, keyboard and percussion instruments, soprano solo, recitation and organ (1984) dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the founding of the UN, while Jan Kapr composed, among other pieces, his 8th Symphony Campanae Pragenses for mixed choir (on the texts of the inscriptions on Prague bells), large orchestra and tape of bells (1971-77). Composers of the middle generation also wrote signicant works Petr Eben: the cantata Pocta Karlu IV [In Honour of Charles IV], the ballet Kletby a dobroeen [Curses and Benedictions]. Svatopluk Havelka: the symphonic fantasia Hommage Hieronymus Bosch and others or Lubo Fier: Nek nad zkzou msta Ur [Lamentations over the Destruction of the Town of Ur], the television opera Vn Faust [Eternal Faust] and others. The Seventies saw a new generation of composers, born during the war and in the rst post-war years, come strongly to the fore. The women-composer IVANA LOUDOV (*1941) who had studied with Olivier Messiaen in Paris, wrote music inuenced by the Polish School (Spleen, 1971), and by further trends in the New Music. Percussion often plays a major role in her orchestral and concertante pieces (Hymnos, 1972) and work with the human voice is also a signicant element in her music (Italsk triptych [Italian Triptych], 1980, series of choral works for children). Instrumental music predominates in the work of MILAN SLAVICK (*1947), son of the composer Klement Slavick. From the beginning of the seventies Slavick developed a method of xed interval selection combined with the principle of thematic continuities inside a piece and strove for the maximum emotional impact Ivana Loudov - Prosvtlen IV [Illumination IV], Dialogy s tichem [Dialogues with Silence]. This generation also included IVAN KURZ (*1947): Naklonn rovina [Tilted Surface], JAROSLAV RYB (*1942) and VCLAV RIEDLBAUCH (*1947). While harshly repressive normalisation conditions were in force at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague in the seventies, the atmosphere at the Janek Academy of Performing Arts in Brno was a great deal freer. Even in these years Miloslav Itvan and Alois Pios were allowed to teach in Brno, and they trained notable students in a spirit that has led people to speak of a Brno School of Composers. A number of students from Prague even commuted to Brno, for example Petr Kofro, later to be the main protagonist of the Agon Ensemble. One of those to study in Brno and then to work there was Alois Pioss pupil PETER GRAHAM (*1952, real name JAROSLAV ASTN-POKORN). Graham is a unique phenomenon on the Czech music scene. Rather than focussing on the formulation of a distinctive composition style of his own, he sensitively takes up and internalising many different kinds of musical impulses (from classical music, jazz, non-European music). He is less interested in the nished outcome of composing than in the process of search - and is an expert on the work of John Cage. His most successful works include a chamber symphony with a naivistic text Bos noky [Bare Feet] (1986-92). Peter Graham


Graham held views similar to those of the circle of composers who came together in the mideighties around the newly founded Agon Ensemble. It was thanks to Agon that Czech audiences had a chance to hear works of the American avant-garde otherwise never played here (Cage, Feldman) and European and Czech New Music (Varse, Berio, Scelsi, Vostk, Kopelent). The ensemble also naturally played pieces by its in-house composers Martin Smolka and Petra Kofro. PETR KOFRO (*1955) initially composed tranquil, nostalgic pieces in the spirit of what was known as the new simplicity (Valk na rozlouenou [Parting Waltz], 1977, Rov pokoj [The Rose Room], 1977-78), but moved towards sharp even aggressive sound and Minimalism (Alfa a Kentaur [Apha and Centauri], 198889 and others). Today he devotes himself mainly to conducting. The music of MARTIN SMOLKA (*1959) takes impulses from European New Music (Netopr [The Bat], 1990) and American Minimalism (Slzy [Tears], 1983), but is also informed by a lyricism derived from the heritage of Romanticism (Hudba hudbika [Music Little Music], 1985). Smolka also likes to work with unusual instruments and unconventional forms of play (Hudba pro peladn nstroje [Music for Retuned Instruments], 1988) and with period quotations. Before the revolution of 1989 Agon represented an island of free performance of music, but in the context of the musical life of the time it was still marginal. It could only develop its activities fully after November 1989. Post 1989 The Velvet Revolution of November 1989 meant the beginning of a new era in contemporary Czech music. First and foremost its institutional basis was transformed. In February 1990 the hitherto hegemonic Union of Composers was dissolved to be replaced by the Association of Musical Artists and Scientists which is the umbrella for many smaller organisations. Societies that had been dissolved under the communist regime were revived the Umleck beseda [Arts Association] (founded 1863) and Ptomnost [Presence] founded 1924, and new association were established, such as Atelir 90 and Spolenost pro elektroakustickou hudbu [The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music]. New ensembles focusing on the performance of new music were founded alongside the ever popular Agon. In Prague they notably included the ensemble MoEns (earlier the Mondschein Ensemble) , and in Brno the percussion ensemble Dama Dama and Ars Incognita. There were changes at the music academies as composers previously barred from them came to teach. Marek Kopelent, Svatopluk Havelka, Ivana Loudov and Milan Slavick, for example, started to teach at the Prague Academy of Performing Arts. New composition courses and competitions were initiated. In 1996 Marek Kopelent instigated the International Summer Courses for Students of Composition esk Krumlov which annually invites important composers from abroad (Soa Gubaidulina, Vinko Globokar, Sigmund Krauze), while since 2001 the Ostrava New Music Days have been held every two years, organised by the composer Petr Kotk, and led by composers such as Christian Wolff or Alvin Lucier. The international competition in electro-acoustic music, Musica Nova, originally founded in 1969, has been revived and is today a prestigious event. Musical life has also been enriched by new festivals of contemporary music. The Marathon of New Music takes place


regularly in Prague, The Exposition of New Music is a major annual event in Brno, and Krom is now home to The Forfest Festival focused on contemporary spiritual music. Composers who had made a name for themselves in the Sixties have now had the chance to present their larger-scale works. For example in 2001 Marek Kopelent presented his major spatial oratorio Lux mirandae sanctitatis (1994) for soprano, recitation, mixed choir, childrens choir, and instrumental ensemble, the National Theatre has staged Jan Klusks two opera Zprva pro akademii [Report for the Academy] (1997) and Bertram and Mescalinda (2002) and Petr Ebens opera Jeremi [Jeremiah] (1996-97) based on a story by Stefan Zweig, was premiered at the Prague Spring Festival. Alois Pios has also been active, and since 1989 has returned to collective composing (Anly avantgardy [Annals of the Avant Garde], with Milo tdro and Ivo Medek). His 3rd String Quartet (1993) and composition for chamber ensemble Stella Matutina (1999) won considerable acclaim and earned him two Classic Prizes for the best work of the year. Milan Slavick has written several new pieces as commissions for Czech and foreign ensembles. They include Porta coeli for large orchestra (1991), Dv kapitoly z Apokalypsy [Two Chapters from the Apocalypse] for large orchestra (1995) and Ich dien for chamber orchestra (1995). Peter Graham has continued to seek out and explore all kinds of musical spaces, and his chamber music on a text by Franz Kafka, Der Erste (1993), has attracted particular attention. The music of Martin Smolka, now clearly one of the best-known contemporary Czech composers abroad, has been heard in international concert halls (D, njak okno, stechy, komny, holubi a tak a taky eleznin mosty [Rain, a window, roofs, chimneys, pigeons and so on and railway-bridges, too], 1992, Rent a Ricercar, 1993-95, Euphorium, 1996 ad.) The work of composers who have started their careers since 1989 is very diverse in style. Among composers close to the Agon Ensemble what is evident is the inuence of American Minimalism and an attempt to link up the techniques of contemporary classical music with the expressive immediacy of rock and jazz. The most prominent of these composers is denitely MICHAL NEJTEK (1977), author of the successful chamber opera Dementia Praecox (2001) and many chamber pieces (e.g. Sestup na hlubinu ticha [Descent to the depth of silence] (1999). In recent years he has obtained several important commissions from abroad he wrote Distress Sonata for orchestra and video-projection (2001-02) for the Warsaw Autumn Festival, and Osten do tla [Thorn into the esh] for trombone, cello and percussion (2002) for the Donaueschinger Musiktage. A similar stylistic orientation can be observed in the music of MARKO IVANOVI (*1976) and ROMAN PALLAS (*1978). VT ZOUHAR (*1966) combines the techniques of Minimalism with stylistic mimicry of Classicist music (Blzk setkn zbsilost srdce [Close Encounters of the Heart's Frenzies], 1993) and Baroque rhetorical gures and cadences (the opera Coronide, 2000). In the same way TOM HANZLK (*1972) embodies the results of his own researches in the Baroque in Minimalist Neo-Baroque style (for example in the opera Yta innocens, (2003). Some composers have an afnity to the traditions of the New Music, for example MARTIN MAREK (*1956), who has returned to composing after a twelve-year career as a cellist (e.g. with Cosciette di Roncole alla Luigi Galvani, 1999), and Marek Kopelents pupils SYLVA SMEJKALOV (*1974) and ROMAN Z. NOVK (*1967). KRYTOF MAATKA (1972) lives and works in France. His compositions are chiselled in their acoustic detail, and demand brilliant instrumental technique, In his piano quartet Exaltum (1998), for example, Maatka exploits play on the strings of the piano and micro-interval focussing of the intonation, and in his piece for solo cello Voja Cello (1999) inspired by Roma culture he retunes the cello strings to get closer


to the modal world of gypsy music. ONDEJ ADMEK (*1979) and MIROSLAV SRNKA (*1975) also have strong French connections. MICHAL RATAJ (*1975) specialises in electro-acoustic music, and focuses on music for radio, known as radiophonics. Among the youngest generation we nd several notable women composers. Young women composers in Brno have got together in the group Hudbaby [Musicrones], that includes KATEINA RIKOV (*1975) and MARKTA DVOKOV (*1977), who not only composes (e.g. iraf opera [Giraffe Opera], 2002), but also engages in multimedia and free improvisation. In Prague PETRA GAVLASOV (*1976) is a composer whose career is developing promisingly.


Opera in the Bohemian Lands up to the Beginning of the 19th Century Opera reached the Bohemian Lands from Italy quite early, in the period when the genre was just crystallising at the beginning of the 17th century. Celebrations held by the royal court for important state events, coronations, weddings and land diets provided the main opportunities for the presentation of pieces composed and staged in the new style. The actors would be artists and musicians in the service of the court, professional theatrical companies touring from their native Italy in Transalpine Europe, and members of the local aristocracy. The productions presented in Prague in the 17th and 18th centuries are considered major events in European musical and theatrical history. At a time when the Imperial Court was visiting Prague for a lengthy stay associated with the forthcoming coronation of Ferdinand II as King of Bohemia, a performance of Phasma Dionysiacum Pragense was staged at Prague Castle as part of the Shrovetide cycle of court festivities on the 5th of February 1617. This is the earliest known fully documented musicaldramatic production not only in the capital city of the Kingdom of Bohemia, but at the Habsburg Court in general. Ten years later, on the 25th of November 1627, a performance of the opera La transformatione di Calisto with stage design Frantiek Antonn pork


by the celebrated Italian architect Giovanni Pieroni was presented in the Vladislav Hall of Prague Castle on the orders of Eleonora Gonzago, second wife of Ferdinand II., for the royal coronation of Ferdinand III. For this occasion the new musical dramatic style was also presented in Prague by the Comedia dellarte company, The Comici Fedeli Giovanni Battista Andreini, which had inuential patrons in the Bohemian Lands (for example Cardinal Arnot Vojtch Harrach). Two operas by the imperial composer and kapellmeister Antonio Draghi were performed in Prague in 1680, when the court was staying there in fear of a plague epidemic (the three-act scherzo dramatico per musica La patienza di Socrate con due mogli and the one-act festa teatrale I vaticinj di Tiresia tebano were produced with stage design by Lodovico Burnacini). The Prague production of court composer Johann Joseph Fuxs Costanza e Fortezza, presented for the coronation of the Emperor Charles VI. as King of Bohemia in 1723, was considered by the newsletters of the period to be a quite extraordinary event. Under the direction of the theatre architect Giuseppe GalliBibiena a special open-air theatre was built for the occasion for 4000 viewers with costly decor and advanced special effects. It involved more than 300 performers, including the best European singers and musicians, and undoubtedly contributed to the process by which Italian opera took root in the Bohemian Lands. Also at the time of the coronation, Tomaso Ristoris comedia dellarte company appeared in the Manhart House in the Old Town, presenting a play with music by Giovanni Alberto Ristori - Das grosse steinerne Gastmahl, it was the beginning of what was later to become a Prague tradition of operas with a Don Juan theme. The nobility resident in the Bohemian Lands had already been interested in theatre in the 17th century. We have records of Italian musicians and a dance master employed from the beginning of the century in the Krom episcopal seat of Cardinal Franz Dietrichstein, while in 1686 the opera patron Johann Christian Eggenberg had a special theatre built at esk Krumlov (preserved to this day in its renovated form of the 1780s), and on behalf of Josef Adam Schwarzenberg, in 1698 Heman Jakub ernn of Chudenice 1698 planned to build an opera house in Prague. Regular opera productions, however, were a feature that started only from the 1720s, rst in noble residences and later in town theatres as well. The interest of the Prague public in opera as early as the beginning of the 18th century can be documented in the activities of the Music Academy, founded by the Prague burghers in 1713 and supported by Count Ludwig Joseph Hartig. These included performances of arrangements of parts of operas (e.g. by J. B. Lully and G. H. Stlzel). From the beginning of the 1720s Jan Adam Questenberg built up an opera in his seat in Jaromice nad Rokytnou, using musically gifted servants and other inhabitants of the village as performers. Here in 1730 he staged the rst known opera by a Czech composer (sung in Italian): this was L origine di Jaromeriz in Moravia by his kapellmeister Frantiek Vclav Ma, and later it was performed in Czech as well. Opera was also cultivated by Cardinal Wolfgang Hannibal Schrattenbach in Krom and in Vykov, Frantiek Antonn Rottal in Holeov, the Bishop of Breslau Philipp Schaffgotsch at the Chateau of Jnsk Vrch by Javornk in Silesia, who employed Karel Ditters von Dittersdorf as capelmeister and composer, and at the end of the 18th century Prince Franz Joseph Maximilian Lobkowitz in Roudnice nad Labem and in Jeze. Thanks to regular opera productions by professional companies with repertoires fed by Italian theatre and accessible to broader sections of the urban population, a large opera public gradually developed from the 1720s. The Prague impressarios gradually expanded their operations to other centres (Dresden, Leipzig, Braunschweig, Hamburg) and the metropolis of the Bohemian Kingdom this came to function as an


important crossroads of repertoire, its composers and performers. The rst Prague opera entrepreneur was Giovanni Federico Sartorio (1702-1705) in the Lesser Town, followed in 1724 by the Peruzzis father and son, who engaged the Venetian tenor Antonio Denzio and also obtained the patronage of Count Frantiek Antonn pork, who allowed them to appear regularly at his country seat in Kuks and in Prague, where he had his own theatre in the garden of his palace in the New Town modied for the opera. Denzio soon took over direction of the company, worked here uninterruptedly from 1724 to 34 and on behalf of the company exploited his personal contacts with Antonio Vivaldi, whose operas he presented. Other opera impressarios in the Bohemian Lands included, for example Angelo Mingotti, who started in 1732 in Brno (from the autumn of 1733 he was playing in the New Town Theatre on the Cabbage Market) , his brother Pietro Mingotti, Filippo Neri del Fantasia, Santo Lapis, who in 1739 launched his newly established Prague City Theatre v Kotcch, Giovanni Battista Locatelli (Christoph Willibald Gluck worked in Prague as his kapellmeister and presented his operas Ezio and Issipile here), Gaetano Molinari and Giuseppe Bustelli, who presented operas by Mysliveek, staged two Italian operas by the local composer Johann Anton Koeluh and was the last opera impresario at the Theatre v Kotcch up to 1781. In the new theatre built by Frantiek Antonn Nostitz, which opened in 1783 The Estates Theatre (it was sold to the Bohemian Estates in 1798), the rst impresario was Pasquale Bondini (1784-88, also in the Thun Theatre in the Lesser Town) followed by Domenico Guardasoni, after whose death the Italian opera company was dissolved (1807). The works of Mozart were milestones in the operatic history of Prague, and found a well-educated public to receive them. The rst to be staged here were the singspiel Die Entfhrung aus dem Serail [Abduct from Serail] (1783 the German company of Karl Wahr) and opera Le nozze di Figaro [Figaros Wedding] (1786 Bondinis opera company). Bondini and Guardasoni presented the world premieres of Don Giovanni (1787) and Titus (1791), both written for Prague. Soon other works were presented both in the original and translations, and taken beyond the frontiers of the Bohemian Lands by touring companies (e.g. Vclav Mihule company). The rst in Czech translation was Kouzeln tna [The Magic Flute] at the Theatre u Hybern in the New town in 1794. Mozarts operas and the musical repertoire of the Viennese suburban theatres became the core of the Czech language repertoire at the Patriotic Theatre [Vlasteneck divadlo], which from 1786 put on Czech performances in Prague as part of a Czech-German programme. From the 1780s the German theatre companies that shared their stages in the Bohemian Lands with Italian singers (e.g. Johann Joseph Brunian and Karl Wahr in Prague, Johann Heinrich Bhm, Roman Waitzhofer and Joseph Rothe in Brno, and Karl Hain in Opava and Olomouc), presented Italian comic operas in translation, original singspiel works and serious operas with German texts. The production of Glucks opera Orpheus und Euridice by the principal Roman Waitzhofer in Brno in 1779 is considered to be the rst ever performance of the work in German. The close relationship between the linguistically heterogeneous earlier opera theatre and the domestic environment is illustrated by the fortunes of a drama about a watchman in love which was presented as a pantomime with song in Czech in 1767 in Brno by the German company of Johann Matthias Menninger, when a kindred title had already been sung in Czech by Italian singers under the impressario Molinari in 1763 as the intermezzo Zamilovan Ponocnej [Watchman in Love], believed to have been written by the Prague composer and capelmeister Jan Tuek. The Estates Theatre (Stavovsk Divadlo, earlier the Nostitz Theatre) was the main Prague opera


The New Town Theatre

The New German Theatre


house. The second was Novomstsk divadlo [The New Town Theatre], 1858-1885 practically right up to the opening of the National Theatre (1883) to which the Prague German community responded by building Neues Deutsches Theater [The New German Theatre] 1888, from 1948 to 1992 The Smetana Theatre, today The Prague State Opera. To this day these three buildings form the axis of Prague opera life. From the end of the 18th century theatre/opera houses were built in a number of smaller towns mostly on the initiative of the German population (Cheb, Olomouc, Opava and elsewhere) and helped to create a great European network of German theatres. Czech opera was later both to draw on this tradition and also to develop in national, political and artistic opposition to it. Practically throughout the 18th century composers of Czech origin had mainly made careers abroad (Jan Dismas Zelenka, Josef Mysliveek, the creator of the stage melodrama Ji Antonn Benda and others). What are known as the Han (a regional designation) and Crafts operas, written in most cases by members of religious orders in South and Central Moravia and by music teachers in country schools, represented an original form of later 18th-century Classicist singspiel inuenced both by folksong and Italian opera. There is one particularly remarkable group of operas with political and historical themes (Landeborg, Pse o csai Josefovi II [Song about the Emperor Josef II.], Pargamotka etc.). Singspiel was also the main genre of the rst national revivalists in the 1780s (especially in the venue known as the Bouda) and remained so in the Bohemian Lands up to the Napoleonic Wars (Theatre U Hybern 1789-1802).

Czech Operatic Theatre of the 19th Century Prague was only slowly and reluctantly to give up Italian repertoire and the cult of the operas of W. A. Mozart. At the beginning of the 19th century, however, the management of the Estates Theatre passed from Italian to German hands, bringing a shift to German Romantic opera. One of those to contribute to Prague operatic life was C. M. von Weber (kapellmeister at the Estates Theatre 1813-16). As early as the 1830s French grand opera had an inuence on Prague repertoire as well, and from the turn of the 1840s/50s the early work of G. Verdi and R. Wagner. New foreign operas were introduced into the Prague theatre by the conductor FRANTIEK KROUP (1801-1862), who also worked as kapellmeister of the German opera at the Estates Theatre. Czech performances were sporadic and rare, and a separate Czech company was not established at the Estates Theatre until 1849 (director Johann Hoffmann).

The Estates Theatre


Czech and German productions then coexisted at the Estates Theatre until the opening of Prozatimn divadlo [The Provisional Theatre] in 1862. By this time the Czech public was in the majority, translations were made for it mainly by J. N. tpnek, S. K. Machek, J. .K. Chmelensk, and J. K. Tyl, and there were about ten opera productions a year. Czech opera theatre, even though it could only exist with the organisational support of the German management, inspired several original compositions: Frantiek kroup attempted to write a founding work of Czech opera with the singspiel Drtenk [The Tinker] (libretto by Josef Krasoslav Chmelensk, premiere 1826), but the work was limited by a narrow revivalist perspective on opera composition and so had little inuence on the development of Czech national opera. kroup himself wrote more important operas with German text, already inuenced by Neo-Romanticism (Kolumbus 1855). Signicant Czech operas were to be written somewhat later, in the 1860s, when the Czech opera ensemble obtained its own stage in the cramped quarters of what was known as The Provisional Theatre (opened in 1862). This was the workplace of Bedich Smetana, who in his nine operas tried systematically to create Czech opera types dened by Czech subject matter (taken from Czech history of legend, and from contemporary village and small-town life), including a specically Czech musical style of heroic opera (Dalibor, 1868), a comic conversation piece (Dv vdovy [The Two Widows], 1874), a ceremonial opera (Libue, 1872) and so on. His Prodan nevsta [The Bartered Bride] (1866, denitive version 1870) became the prototype of national opera in a village setting. All these works are today a living part of the repertoire of Czech opera houses, and The Bartered Bride in particular has made it into international repertoire. Smetanas vision of a national music also moulded his chamber music (especially piano music), choral and symphonic music (the cycle of symphonic poems M vlast [My Homeland], 1882). As kapellmeister, Bedich Smetana, Jan Nepomuk Mar and Adolf ech contributed to the development of professional opera performance in The Provisional Theatre. The small dimensions of the theatre restricted the possibilities for directors, and direction was therefore only to developed more ambitiously after the opening of The National Theatre (1881, reopened in 1883 after re destroyed the rst building), especially with the emergence of the directors Edmund Chvalovsk and in the National Theatre Josef maha who adopted the new realist approach of the spoken drama of the time. For them the libretto was key, and the goal the adequate depiction of its setting and situation. Other opera composers of the period of The Provisional Theatre and rst years of the National Theatre (Vilm Blodek, Karel ebor, Karel Bendl, Josef R. Rozkon, and others) developed the Smetana model of national opera embodied in The Bartered Bride but also drew inspiration from other trends (French grand opera, contemporary Italian opera). Antonn Dvok The National and Provisional Theatre


(1841-1904) also initially followed the Smetana model of national opera and went beyond it only in his late highly individual works from the turn of the century (Jakobn [The Jacobin], ert a Ka [The Devil and Kate] and above all Rusalka, 1901). By contrast Smetanas disciple Zdenk Fibich (1850-1900) returned to the model of Wagnerian music drama (e.g. Nevsta messinsk [The Bride of Messina], 1883), to which he added his own distinctive type of stage melodrama (the trilogy Hippodamie, 1889-1891). After 1860 Czech opera began to develop more rapidly outside the Prague centre. Companies started to play with some regularity from 1865 in Plze, and in Brno after the establishment of The Provisional Theatre there in 1884. German opera ensembles nonetheless continued to predominate on Bohemian territory and in many respects the Prague German Theatre under director Angelo Neumann (1885-1910) was the model for the Czech National Theatre in standard of performance.

Czech Operatic Theatre in the First Half of the 20th Century As the new century opened the National Theatre was led by the conductor and composer Karel Kovaovic (1900-20). He engaged a number of outstanding singers (including Emil Burian, Rena Maturov, Otakar Mak, Emil Pollert, and Theodor Schtz), enlarged the orchestra and choir and improved their standard. He also diversied the repertoire with his interest in French music and introduced what was then a new feature - the cycle of operas by the same composer (Smetana). Occasionally controversial, he sometimes attracted criticism for his choice of new pieces and interventions in opera scores. His successor Otakar Ostril (1920-35) modernised the performance style of the company above all by stressing delity to the score. He removed old modications from the scores and took care to ensure musical discipline in performance, while also opening up repertoire to new directions and new Czech and foreign operas. This led to a number of conicts that culminated in protests by subscribers at the rst Czech performance of Alban Bergs opera Wozzeck (1926). Ostril was followed by Vclav Talich (1936-44) who focused more on the quality of his new interpretations, reviving the former practice of retouching scores but doing so with a fully thought out musical rationale. He also gave more space to opera repertoire of an accessible and popular kind. Otakar Ostril devoted considerable attention to opera as a synthetic art, encouraging the development of more elaborate and adventurous staging concepts. Together with the director Karel Hugo Hilar and artist Frantiek Kysela, with whom he had already been working during the First World War on Smetana productions at The Town Theatre in Krlovsk Vinohrady, Ostril took not the libretto but the music as starting point in stage conception and above all in direction of the acting, thus going beyond the hitherto realistic style of staging opera and preguring the trend in opera direction up to the mid20th century. From the 1920s the most important representative of this trend in Czechoslovakia was Ferdinand Pujman (1889-1961), who created static productions full of aesthetic feeling and meloplastic acting. From the point of view of the further development of directing, Jindich Honzls Surrealist production of Bohuslav Martins Julietta (1938) was particularly signicant. In the 1920s Ota Ztek established a specic production style for the operas of Leo Janek at The National Theatre in Brno, and in the 1930s the director Rudolf Walter worked there. Thanks to its close connections with German theatrical centres, The Prague German Theatre also provided many impulses for opera productions in the German Expressionist repertoire.


LEO JANEK (1854-1928), based in Brno, was the outstanding and clearly the most important Czech (Moravian) opera composer of the 20th century. It was he who departed from the Smetana model the most radically, getting beyond it in the most thoroughgoing sense, and also moving away from the predominant form of the post-Wagnerian modern movement. Initially inuenced more by Dvok than Smetana, he developed a distinctive method of operativ dramatic singing based on his own speech melody. A master of the dramatic abbreviation, he employed it not just in the music but in the structure of the libretto, which he usually wrote himself. Janeks most important work is Jej pastorkya [Jenfa] (Brno 1904, Prague 1916) based on the eponymous stage play by Gabriela Preissov but using his own prose libretto. In contrast to the idyllic setting of national stories favoured before, Janek presented a realistic life situation, and approached national life in the spirit of a folklore documentarist, without 19th century idealisation (the recruiting and wedding scenes as a stylised record of Moravian folklore). Janek found subjects for his operas in a wide spectrum of Czech and world literature and drama; he was very interested in Russia, as reected in his operas Katya Kabanova (1921) and Z mrtvho domu [From the House of the Dead] (1928), he wrote Pbhy liky Bystrouky [The Cunning Little Vixen] (1923) on the basis of cartoon strips and stories in a newspaper, used Karel apeks original play as the basis for Vc Makropulos [The Makropulos Case] (1925), and Svatopluk echs satirical stories as the basis for Vlety pana Brouka [The Excursions of Mr. Brouek] (1917). In recent decades his opera Osud [Destiny] (1905, concert version premiered 1934 and stage version in 1958 in Brno) has been arousing new interest as well. Leo Janeks operas were not particularly successful at home and are not entirely well received by the public to this day. They were deservedly acclaimed abroad, however, even in the composers lifetime (Jenfa was performed in 1916 in Vienna, 1924 in Berlin and so forth) and today Janek is the most frequently performed Czech opera composer abroad (particularly The Cunning Little Vixen as well as Jenfa). As early as 1925 the native Praguer Max Brod, translator of the composers libretti into German, published a biography of Janek in Berlin. Hard to classify in terms of style or generation, as opera composer Leo Janek stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries and younger composers from the modernist circle, for whom opera was usually anyway not the main area of their work. These were JOSEF BOHUSLAV FOERSTER (1859-1959, e.g. opera Eva 1899 based on a story by G. Preissov), VTZSLAV NOVK (18701949, Karltejn, Lucerna), KAREL KOVAOVIC (1862-1920, Psohlavci [Dogheads] 1897), OTAKAR OSTRIL (1879-1935, Kunlovy oi [Kunals Eyes] 1908, Honzovo krlovstv [Honzas Kingdom]), RUDOLF KAREL (1880-1945, Smrt kmotika [The Godfathers Death] 1932), BOLESLAV VOMKA (1887-1965, Vodnk [The Water Goblin] 1937), OTAKAR JEREMI (1892-1962, Brati Karamazovi [The Brothers Karamazov] 1927) and others. Czech opera was to nd its next important representative in BOHUSLAVU MARTIN (1890-1959). Most of his works, however, were written abroad, in France, the USA and Switzerland where he lived successively from the 1920s. In his rst fantasy opera compositions of the 1920s (Vojk a tanenice [The Soldier and the Dancer], Slzy noe [Tears of a Knife], Ti pn [Three Wishes], Den nezvislosti [Independence Day]) the inuence of the French avant-garde is particularly strong, and they respond to jazz and the rhythms of post-war Europe. Nonetheless, Martins Czech musical roots integrated all these elements into an original musical style. For his subjects Martin chose unusual forms, for example he combined opera with ballet (Divadlo za brnou [Theatre beyond the Gate] 1936), wrote operas for radio (Hlas lesa [The Voice of the Forest], Veselohra


na most [Comedy on the Bridge], both 1935), musical comedies (Mirandolina 1954, enitba [The Marriage] 1952) and often dream stories (e.g. Ariadna, 1958). His major works are the four-part Hry o Marii [The Miracles of Mary] (1933-34), written on medieval texts, folk songs and literary themes by Julius Zeyer, his Surrealist opera Julietta or Dreambook (1936-37) based on a play by Georges Neveux, and eck paije [The Greek Passion] (1st version 1957, 2nd version 1959) based on the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis. Turning to the broader circle of composers of the inter-war avant-garde we should note Karel Hba who wrote the quarter-tone opera Matka [Mother] (1931), Ia Krej (Pozdvien v Efesu [The Rising in Ephesus] 1943), Emil Frantiek Burian (Bubu z Montparnassu [Bubu from Montparnasse] 1927, rst staged by the Prague State Opera in 1999; Marya 1938), and Erwin Schulhoff (Plameny [Flames], 1932). This generation also included the Jewish composers Hans Krsa (Zsnuby ve snu [Betrothal in a Dream], 1928-30, performed at the New German Theatre in 1933, Brundibr 1938, privately performed in 1941 in Prague and in 1943 in the Terezn Ghetto) and Pavel Haas (arlatn [The Charlatan], 1937), who died in 1944 in Auschwitz. Apart from the National Theatre, in the years 1907-1919 opera and operetta was also staged in Prague at The Town Theatre in Krlovsk Vinohrady headed by Otakar Ostril. From 1920 Mozart operas, particularly, were sung in Czech at The Prague Estates Theatre, which until then had been part of the Prague German stage, but which members of the Czech ensemble of The National Theatre conscated illegally in November 1920 and took over for Czech theatre. In Brno Czech opera was played in 1884-1918 in the small Theatre Na Veve, but in 1919 after the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic it took over The German Town Theatre (today The Mahen Theatre), previously home to a German company. Under the leadership of Frantiek Neumann (1919-1929) the Czech company here presented the world premieres of operas by Leo Janek, while under Milan Sachs (193239) pioneering programmes included works by Soviet composers (e.g. Dmitri Shostakovichs Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk Region 1936, and the world premiere of Sergei Prokoevs ballet Romeo and Juliet 1938) and many original Czech pieces, including Czech premieres of some of Bohuslav Martins works. Among important Brno conductors were the Janek specialist Betislav Bakala, Antonn Balatka and Zdenk Chalabala. After the founding of the First Republic Czech opera companies were established in German regional centres where they operated in parallel with German groups and used the originally German theatres. This was the case for example in The Moravian-Silesian National Theatre in Ostrava (1919, chief Jaroslav Vogel, also toured in Opava) and in The Czech Theatre in Olomouc (1920, chief Karel Nedbal), which regularly toured a number of Czech towns including Liberec and esk Budjovice, where a home ensemble only operated on an irregular basis. The Olomouc company made trips to Liberec and Slovakia, and even guest appearances in Vienna. Many Czech singers who started out with the regional Czech companies after the First World War and whose careers culminated at The Prague National Theatre contributed to the development of Czech opera: Vclav Bedn, Marie Budkov-Jeremiov, Ludmila ervinkov. Jaroslav Gleich, Gabriela Horvtov, Otakar Chmel, Vladimr Jedenctk, Miloslav Jenk, Karel Kala, Oldich Kov, Marta Krsov, Stanislav Mu, Ada Nordenov. Zdenk Otava, Marie Podvalov, Valentin indler, Maria Tauberov, Vilm Ztek. Eva Hadrabov, Jarmila Novotn, Richard Kubla, Otakar Mak, Ludmila Dvokov and others made names for themselves on the international scene.


Czech Opera 1945-1989 The end of the Second World War brought fundamental changes in opera life. All the German theatres on Czech territory were dissolved, and their buildings and resources went to Czech companies that were newly established in Liberec, st nad Labem, Opava and later in esk Budjovice. This was the period of the emergence of the dense network of Czech opera houses (roughly ten companies) that is still in operation today. Political developments after the Second World War led to the gradual isolation of Czech opera life. After a short period of attempts to continue the pre-war tradition, development was interrupted by the imposition of Zhdanovite Socialist Realist aesthetics, which at the turn of the 1940s/50s temporarily livened up opera production with realistic descriptive elements. At this period Soviet operatic agitprop pieces were introduced into the national classic repertoire and the position of basic world repertoire was eroded. Stylistically different new operas were not presented, and the connection with the pre-war modern and avantgarde was more or less broken right up to the later 1950s, when attempts were made once again to re-attach the threads. There was a halt to the developments in stage production that had been pursued at Opera 5. kvtna [The Opera of the 5th of May] (1945-48) under the inuence of the composer Alois Hba by the directors Alfrd Radok and Vclav Kalk together with the stage designers Frantiek Trster and especially Josef Svoboda. Opposing the static style of Ferdinand Pujman they championed a more mobile concept of opera acting, including organisation of the chorus, the dynamic interplay of various different stage techniques, non-illusionist lighting and space, and a search for new meanings in the content and themes of operas. The director Bohumil Hrdlika took a comparable path, rst in Ostrava and then in the National Theatre in Prague, although after a conict over a production of Mozarts The Magic Flute (1957) he emigrated and worked abroad. The ground-breaking opera company, The Opera of the 5th of May was soon incorporated into the Prague National Opera, where the new ideals of production clashed with the Pujman style (Pujman himself was directed up to the end of the 1950s) and with actor direction, updated by Socialist Realism. Nonetheless, the pioneering spirit of The Opera of the 5th of May was to prove an inspiration to later directors: Vclav Kalk (1917-1989), of the older generation Karel Jernek and Milo Wasserbauer (founder of the Chamber Opera at Janek Academy of Performing Arts Brno, 1957), and of the younger especially Ladislav tros and in the Brno Opera Vclav Vnk. These directors were to do well abroad, while Czech stage design in particular earned a world-wide reputation in the 1960s and JOSEF SVOBODA (1920-2002) became an internationally sought-after stage designer (the principle of the light and kinetic stage). After the Second World War The National Theatre remained the summit of Czech opera in terms of quality and performance and many of its productions were excellent, but it increasingly lacked international context and comparison. The repertoire focused mainly on Czech music. Three strong generations of singers made careers in its, the dominating names being Karel Berman, Beno Blachut, Libue Domannsk, Miroslav Frydlewicz, Eduard Haken, Jindich Jindrk, Nadda Kniplov, Richard Novk, Vilm Pibyl, Milada ubrtov, and Ivo dek. These singers occasionally able to accept successful guest engagements at prestigious European opera houses (especially in Vienna and the German opera houses, often in Berlin), and sometimes longer-term engagements in theatre in the former German Democratic Republic (Rudolf Asmus, Antonie Denygrov, Jaroslav Kachel, Viktor Ko, Miroslav vejda). Only those who had more or less decided to live


abroad could pursue a longer-term career elsewhere (Soa erven, Gabriela Beakov, Ludmila Dvokov, Zdenk Kroupa, Eva Randov). Lacking external impulses domestic resources of singers and composers became meagre and performance based on one-sided interpretation of the national classics started to stagnate. In general, however, the companies were well-funded at the period which meant that they could include more difcult and less popular pieces in repertoire and had resources and space for experiment, although of course they were under the eye of the censor. After 1957 a new repertory orientation emerged particularly in Brno thanks to the repertory director and conductor Vclav Nosek. He made efforts to present the operas of B. Martin, and also of key works of modern opera beginning with R. Strauss and with a special emphasis on the work of L. Janek. Czech and other works of the interwar period were also staged by opera companies in Olomouc and Plze, while The Prague National Theatre only caught up with this initiative in the mid-1960s. The new operas written during the period were very various in style, genre and generation, but almost nothing of lasting value was produced evidently because most of the composers approached opera composition from traditionalist positions. The form known as chamber opera made ever more headway. Among the most remarkable and viable examples were the opera projects of the Brno composer Josef Berg in the 1960s, which inuenced A. Pios and M. tdro in collaboration with Divadlo na provzku [The Theatre on a String], and the light comedies and travesties of Ilja Hurnk (Dma a lupii [The Lady and the Robbers], 1966), while Jaroslav Kreks Nevstka Raab [The Harlot Raab] is notable as a composition on the principles of concrete (electronic) music (1971). Among the most important composers of the time we might mention J. Pauer, J. F. Fischer, I. Jirko, O. Mcha, and L. Fier (Lancelot, 1960).

Czech Opera since 1989 The social changes following November 1989 brought two new factors into the development of opera: Czech opera was once again open to international contacts and new impulses, but it had to operate in more straitened material circumstances since the state ceased to fund the theatres (with the exception of the National Theatre) and transferred them to the management of the new town local government organs (councils). Opera companies responded by putting on a range of popular operas (Verdi, Puccini), which entirely dominated repertoire in the rst half of the 1990s. Under economic pressure they also had to reduce the number of employees in all professions, to some extent overhaul the work of the permanent companies, work more with guests and so on. Despite these pressures, however, the traditional organisational-operational model of opera houses remained essentially unchanged. The existing network of opera houses has been maintained: The National Theatre in Prague, The National Theatre in Brno, The Moravian-Silesian National Theatre in Ostrava, The J.K.Tyl Theatre in Plze, The F. X. alda Theatre in Liberec, The North Bohemian Opera and Ballet Theatre in st nad Labem, The South Bohemian Theatre in esk Budjovice, The Moravian Theatre in Olomouc, and The Silesian Theatre in Opava. In recent years there have been additions in the form of The Prague State Opera (founded in 1992 by the separation of what had been the Smetana Theatre from The National Theatre) and independent theatre companies (Opera Furore, Opera Mozart, Orfeo Chamber Opera Brno, Prague Childrens Opera, various groups particularly of young artists, Prague commercial opera concerns etc.
*The current list of addresses, see in the chapter Links


The composition of the companies have changed, with many outstanding singers entering them from the countries of the former Soviet Union, Slovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania and elsewhere (Valentin Prolat, Jevhen okalo, Anda-Louisa Bogza and others). The largest opera houses also regularly invite foreign guests to sing, and international absolutely top stars have given concerts here (Jos Carreras, Agnes Baltsa, Rene Fleming, Jos Cura and others). The appearances by outstanding soloists have corrected the Czech publics standards of judgment of vocal quality, which had fallen somewhat in the period of isolation, but on the other hand has brought individualistic elements into production practice that earlier depended mainly on the interplay of the whole company. Among Czech singers the most outstanding, who have made international careers, are Magdalena Koen, Eva Urbanov, Ivan Kusnjer, tefan Margita, and Dagmar Peckov. Since the mid-1990s repertoire and interpretation has been developing in several different directions depending on the specic circumstances of the individual opera houses and the artistic ambitions of their directors. The importance of the traditional Czech composers authors has declined (Smetana, Dvok), while there has been increased interest in the work of Leo Janek and Bohuslav Martin and also in previously forgotten works (in The J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plze under Petr Kofro: Z. Fibich: rka, J. B. Foerster: Bloud [The Simpleton], O. Ostril: Kunlovy oi [Kunals Eyes]; in The Prague State Opera under Ji Nekvasil E. F. Burian: Bubu z Montparnassu [Bubu of Montparnasse]). The trend is to look for unknown world, and so the repertoire is expanding in many different directions, especially in the National Moravian-Silesian Theatre in Ostrava, The State Opera in Prague and The National Theatres in Prague and Brno (C. Debussy, N. Rimsky-Korsakov, A. P. Borodin, D. F. E. Auber, K. Weis, R. Strauss, A. Boito, E. DAlbert, G. Meyerbeer, J. P. Rameau, F. Busoni, H. A. Marschner and others.). Veristic operas never played or forgotten in this country have been staged (A. Ponchielli: La Gioconda, U. Giordano: Andrea Chnier, Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur), as well as works by the Theresienstadt composers (P. Haas, H. Krsa, V. Ullmann) and many 20th century works (B. Bartk, E. W. Korngold, F. Poulenc, A. Schnberg, D. Milhaud, P. M. Davies, D. Shostakovich). The public has been introduced to a wider circle of Minimalist opera (M. Nymen: The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, NT Prague 1997, Man and Boy: Dada, 2004; P. Glass: The Fall of the House of Usher, Prague State Opera 1999; John Adams: The Death of Klinghoffer, NT Prague 2003; P. Glass: Beauty and the Beast, NT Prague 2003). One conspicuous line of repertory consists of original premieres of new foreign and Czech operas, and this has been the systematic policy of Daniel Dvok and Ji Nekvasil, starting with Opera Furore through Opera Mozart, The State Opera and now The National Theatre that they currently lead. New work has also been inspired by the State Opera composing competition and by the free cycle of one-off productions of new operas particularly by young composers called Banging on the Iiron Curtain (rst at the State Opera, then in The Estates Theatre). In other theatres original premieres are very rare. Among the most individual recent Czech works are operas by Jan Klusk (Zprva pro Akademii [Report for the Academy], NT Prague 1997; Bertram and Mescalinda, NT Praha 2002) and Emil Viklick (Faidra [Phaedra], State Opera Prague 2000; Mchv denk [Mchs Diary], NT Prague 2003), and Petr Ebens church opera Jeremiash (NT Prague 1997), Martin Smolka and Jaroslav Dueks ice-hockey opera Nagano (NT Prague 2004) caused quite a stir, and T. Hanzlks neoBaroque opera (Yta Innocens) is particularly interesting. There have been two world premieres of operas by the foreign composer Andreas Pger (Fyzikov [The Physicists], State Opera Prague 2001; Historie jednoho snu [History of a Dream], Opava 2004), while Laurent Petitgirards opera Joseph Merrick or the Elephant Man (State Opera Prague 2002) was especially warmly received.


Stage design and direction has developed in penetrating and at the same time controversial ways. The National Theatre has had a number of guest directors usually based abroad: Jozef Bednrik (Gounod: Romeo et Julie, 1994; Bizet: Carmen, 1999), David Poutney (B.Martin: Vojk a tanenice [The Soldier and the Dancer], State Opera Prague 2000; B. Smetana: ertova stna [The Devils Wall, NT Prague 2001; L. Janek: Jej pastorkya [Jenfa], NT Brno 2004), David Radok (all at NT Prague W.A.Mozart: Don Giovanni, 1991; D.Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk Region, 2000; A.Berg: Wozzeck, 2001) and Robert Wilson (L. Janek: Osud [Fate], 2002). Home directors-post-modernists have created several controversial productions (P. Lbl, J. A. Pitnsk, V. Morvek). The director Ji Nekvasil and one of the most striking of post-1989 stage designers Daniel Dvok also partially identity with postmodernism. In the chamber environment of the Opera Furore and Opera Mozart they brought a highly distinctive approach and clip directorial technique, but on the major stages both go for the techniques of post-modern decorativism. Ji Nekvasil has produced operas for television as well (J. Berg: Evropsk turistika [European Tourism], B. Martin: Slzy noe [Tears of a Knife], Podivuhodn let [The Wonderful Flight], all 1998, B.Martin: Hlas lesa [Voice of the Forest] 2001). 2000 sawe the emergence of two young directors, trained for opera, and with their own approach to stage space and opera acting: Ji Heman (The J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plze C. Saint-Sans: Samson a Dalila [Samson and Delilah], 2002, R. Wagner: Bludn Holanan [The Flying Dutchman], 2004) and Daniel Balatka (the same theatre B.Smetana: Prodan nevsta [The Bartered Bride], 2002). Among the middle generation Michal Tarant, and Tom imerda (also on television) are active, while Ludk Golat is going his own way in collaboration with Jaroslav Malina (Moravian-Silesian National Theatre in Ostrava). The regional companies have been maintaining the earlier style of direction as conceived by the older generation of directors (especially Vclav Vnk and Ladislav tros) and their direct disciples in the middle generation (Jan tych, Jana PletichovAndlov and others).


Instrumental music developed strongly in the Bohemian Lands during the 18th and 19th centuries both in terms of increasing numbers of concerts and the intense cultivation of chamber music-making in burgher society. In the more liberal political conditions after 1860 chamber music ourished even more vigorously on the basis of numerous associations. From 1876 the Prague Kammermusikverein [Society for Chamber Music] organised chamber music concerts, and from 1894 so did its counterpart The Czech Society for Chamber Music. Over just a few generations the high standard of instrumental teaching at The Prague Conservatory (established 1811) bore fruit in the form of hundreds of professionally trained talents. In 1892 students from the conservatory formed the rst Czech professional chamber ensemble The Czech Quartet (1892-1933), and it became the model for many other chamber groups established at the turn of the 19th/20th The Czechoslovak Quartet


century and later. The nationally competitive atmosphere (between Germans and Czechs) gave rise to several different piano trios appearing under the name Czech Trio, and in 1924 the entirely unique ensemble, The Czech Nonet, was formed. The Czech Quartet, which from 1914 was formed of Karel Hoffmann 1st Violin, Josef Suk 2nd Violin, Jii Herold Viola, and Ladislav Zelenka Cello) gave concerts practically all over Europe and in the USA, where it became famous not just for its interpretation of the Czech composers B. Smetana, A. Dvok, and J. Suk, but also for its masterly performances of the major works of the world classical-romantic repertoire. The second celebrated Czech string quartet was The evk Quartet (1902-30). In the inter-war period the traditions of the The Czech Trio Czech Quartet were maintained and developed particularly by The Ondek Quartet (1921-56), The Prague Quartet (1922-66, up to 1929 known as The Zika Quartet), The Moravian Quartet (1923-59) and The Czechoslovak Quartet (originally The Peek Quartet, 1928, still appearing up to the mid-1960s). Of the other chamber ensembles we should at least mention The Prague Wind Quintet (1928-1956), The Moravian Wind Quintet (founded in Brno in 1927) and The Smetana (later The Czech) Trio (1934). All these groups did much to propagate contemporary Czech music at home and abroad. The year 1932 saw the formation of a group specialising in playing on old musical instruments, Pro arte antiqua, which also made a major name for itself abroad as well. After the Second World War the amateur cultivation of chamber music receded into the background especially in the smaller towns, but the expansion of the musical education system and concert life meant that new chamber groups continued to be founded in large numbers, with particular stress on development of the tradition of professional quartet play. The best Czech quartets of the period included The Smetana Quartet (1945), The Janek Quartet (1947), The Vlach Quartet (1950-75), The Talich Quartet (1964), The Suk Quartet (1968), The Panocha Quartet (1969) and The City of Brno Quartet (1969). The 1960s saw another wave of new ensembles, often with very young members, that conrmed the high standards of our system of musical education - The Kubn, Kocian, Doleal and Prak Quartets (1972), The Kroft and Sedlek Quartets (1974), and The Havlk Quartet (1976, later renamed The Martin Quartet). During the 1980s and 1990s they were joined by other outstanding ensembles like The Stamitz (1985) and kampa (1989) Quartets, The Apollon Quartet (1993), The Penguin Quartet (1994), The Kaprlov Quartet (1995), Bennewitz Quartet (1998) and others. Alongside these, from 1945 there had already existed a specialised string quartet that systematically included avant-garde composers of the inter-war period and brand new work in its programmes. Originally called The Smetana Quartet


The Hba Quartet, it was renamed The Novk Quartet, and in the 1960s became a regular guest at world festivals of contemporary music (Donaueschingen, Darmstadt, Cologne, Warsaw). It made a huge contribution to overcoming what was then the isolation of Czech serious music from the rest of the world. In 1951 the violinist Josef Suk (grandson of the composer Josef Suk) founded a piano trio, which was for years to be the top European ensemble of its kind (The Suk Trio). Among wind ensembles we should mention at least The Wind Quintet of the Czech Philharmonics (19451967, from the beginning of the 1960s with the sufx Czech), which made a number of foreign tours and kampa Quartet released numerous gramophone recordings. The Czech Wind Quintet (1957) directly built on the traditions of the famous wind ensemble of inter-war Czechoslovakia (see above), as did its later name The Prague Wind Quintet (1968), which soon earned a place among the most prestigious Czech chamber ensembles. In the mid-1990s a new and outstanding representative of the Czech wind school The Afatus Quintet was formed. Ensembles with a non-traditional prole were also founded, such as The Prague Guitar Quartet (1984), The Bohemia Saxophone Quartet (1990), The Czech Clarinet Quartet (1995) and The Czech Guitar Quartet (2000). Apart from the Pro arte antiqua, other groups emerged with an interest in reconstruction and performance of early music. They included Milan Munclingers Ars rediviva (formed 1951), e.g. Miloslav Klements Symposium musicum (1953) or Luk Matoueks vocal-instrumental Ars cameralis (1963). A new wave of interest this time focusing on the authentic interpretation of early music provided the stimulus for the founding of such internationally acclaimed groups as Musica antiqua Praha (1982), Collegium Marianum (1990), Musica orea (1992) and Ritornello (1993). From the end of the 1950s several specialised ensembles for performance of contemporary and New Music have been formed in the Czech Lands: Chamber Harmony (an 11-member wind group founded by Libor Peek in 1959), Musica viva Pragensis (1961-1969), the chamber association Musica nova (Brno, 1961-1964), Due Boemi di Praga (1963), Sonatori di Praga (1964), and Group A (Brno, 1963-69). In the 1980s this line was continued by The Agon Ensemble (1983-85, later The Agon Orchestra), which was founded as an alternative free association of young performers, composers and musicologists in Prague, and the ensemble Art Inkognito (1986-90, 1994 restarted under the changed name Incognita), which has devoted itself to presenting contemporary Czech music, especially by composers from what is known as the Brno School. Since 1990 these groups have been joined by several new ensembles committed to new music the percussion ensemble DAMA DAMA (1990, Brno), and the Prague groups Mondschein Ensemble (founded 1995, appearing since 2001 under the name MoEns), Tuning Metronomes (2001-04), Convergence (2002) and others.



Orchestras The oldest still existing orchestras in the Czech Lands are the spa orchestras (Teplice from 1831, Karlovy Vary from 1835). At the time when its orchestra was founded, Teplice was known as the salon of Europe and many leading cultural gures visited the resort (including J. W. Goethe, L. van Beethoven, R. Wagner, F. Chopin, F. Liszt, R. Schumann, and B. Smetana). At the end of the century The Teplice Orchestra was already presenting symphonic cycles on a regular basis. Some of its concerts were conducted by E. dAlbert, for example, or R. Strauss. The Karlovy Vary Orchestra performed Dvoks New World Symphony in the Post Court in 1894, a year after it was formed. The heyday of this orchestra was during the period when it was directed by R. Manzer (1911-41), and worked with R. Strauss and The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra P. Casals, for example. In Prague, B. Smetana, founder of Czech national music, and the orchestra of The Provisional Theatre introduced public philharmonic concerts from 1869. The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in the Rudolnum building the most important Prague and Czech orchestra, appeared before the public for the rst time on the 4th of January 1896 with a gala concert conducted by A. Dvok. In 1901-1903 Ludvk elansk became chief conductor of this new independent orchestra. Leading gures who have directed the orchestra include Vclav Talich, Rafael Kubelk, after the 2nd World War Karel Anerl, after his departure for Canada (1969) Vclav Neumann, from 1990 Ji Blohlvek, later Gerd Albrecht, Vladimir Ashkenazy and currently Zdenk Mcal. Since the beginning of the orchestras existence its reputation has been furthered by internationally esteemed guest conductors including E. Grieg, S. Rachmaninoff, A. Nikisch, G. Mahler, A. Zemlinsky, Ch. Munch, L. Bernstein a. o. The history of the Brno symphony orchestra goes right back to the plans of young composer L. Janek, and later his pupil Betislav Bakala, whose Brno Radio Orchestra in 1956 created the basis for what today is The Brno Philharmonic Orchestra (Petr Altrichter is a current chief conductor, Caspar Richter is a honour conductor). The second important Prague orchestra, Zdenk Mcal


founded after The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, is The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (SOR) founded in 1926: Its main function was and remains to record Czech (and contemporary) music. This has always made the orchestra a body with interesting and adventurous programmes and important guest musicians. S. Prokofjev, O. Respighi, A. Honegger, A. Khachaturian and K. Penderecki have all presented their music with the Radio Symphony Orchestra. Vladimr Vlek, who has also been conducting The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra since 1996, assumed the post of chief conductor of Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1985 and, under his guidance, the orchestra has become one of the most Vladimr Vlek prominent in Europe. The Prague Symphony Orchestra was formed in the autumn of 1934. Its founder conductor Rudolf Pekrek dened his goals with the words Film-Opera-Koncert (i.e. FOK). In the 1930s the orchestra recorded music for the majority of Czech lms. Its standards were built up particularly by the conductor Vclav Smetek, who headed it for 30 years from 1942. After Smeteks departure there were especially conductors Ji Blohlvek, Petr Altrichter, Martin Turnovsk and Gaetano Delogu who led this orchestra. In the 2001 Serge Baudo, who has worked with Czech orchestras for many years, was appointed its chief conductor. Socialist Czechoslovakia had a policy of developing and maintaining the network of so-called state orchestras in such a way that every region would have at least one professional philharmonic. This cultural network, nanced by the state, operated for the whole period of the socialist regime up to 1989. The biggest regional orchestras are The Brno Philharmonic Orchestra,The Janek Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava (since 1954, by the transformation of a radio orchestra) and The Bohuslav Martin Philharmonic in Zln (founded in 1946 as the Symphony Orchestra of the Baa State Concern, the current chief conductor is Jakub Hra). The orchestras all had relatively balanced professional quality and a good core repertoire, although it tended to be very traditional. There was no signicant difference in standards between the professional musical culture of the centre (or centres, i.e. Prague, Brno and Ostrava) and the provinces. Regional orchestras with a particularly striking prole in this period were The Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice led by conductor Libor Peek in 1970-77 (currently by Leo Svrovsk and main guest conductor Douglas Bostock from Great Britain), The Brno State Philharmonic (now The Brno Philharmonic Orchestra), directed at various times by Betislav Bakala, Otakar Trhlk, Ji Blohlvek, Frantiek Jlek, Petr Vronsk, Aldo Ceccato and since 2002 by Petr Altrichter or The Ostrava Janek Philharmonic (current chief-conductor Petr Vronsk). After 1990 there was major reform in cultural administration. The orchestras (apart from the radio orchestras and Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra in esk Budjovice) were taken under municipal authorities, a move that has aroused fears for their continued survival. A number of new private orchestras have been formed. The most important include The Prague Philharmonia (since 1994) set up by the former head of The Brno State Philharmonic and then The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Ji Blohlvek.


Orchestras with a core of permanent employees and regular concerts are still partially subsidised by the state through a special programme of support but most of the costs are borne by the promoters, municipalities, with consideration now being given to the idea of support from the newly established regional authorities as part of multi-source funding. In comparison with the situation abroad, the orchestras are able to cover a relatively substantial proportion of their costs from their own earnings (20% or in exceptional cases 30%), and concert attendance is still high, partly because ticket prices remain comparable with cinema tickets, except in the case of the Prague orchestras. A number of new or transformed agency orchestras have been formed (e.g. The Czech National Symphony Orchestra Ltd., chief conductor Paul Freeman from USA, The Czech Symphony Ji Blohlvek Orchestra Ltd. former FISYO - Film and Symphonic Orchestra based 55 years ago), which essentially work on commission (specically recordings, foreign tours, festivals) under a permanent name but mostly without permanent employees. Most of them are recruited from the players in stable orchestras or members of chamber groups. It can also create a misleading impression for the unwary, for example in gures that show an apparent striking rise in the number of professional symphony and chamber orchestras in the Czech Republic since 1990 (up to around 45). In comparison with the EU, the situation here is also exceptional in that even top bodies such as The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra or The Prague Symphony Orchestra are made up of employees of a single nationality. Sir Ch. Mackerras regards this as an inuential factor for the characteristic interpretation particularly of national music. Thanks to the state grant system the number of festivals have risen, however, and festivals are the traditional terrain for greater adventurousness in programmes. Here it becomes clear that if presentation of new music is properly thought out and promoted with verve by high-prole musicians, there are no a priori problematic pieces. This is demonstrated, for example, by the growing interest in contemporary music in The Ostrava Janek Philharmonic thanks to the composer Petr Kotk, who lives in the USA but has started International Composing Courses in New Music here (the orchestra rehearses and plays the compositions at the end of the courses).

Choirs Choral singing in the Czech Republic is traditionally of a high standard, even in largely nonprofessional or semi-professional choirs, several of which regularly work with professional orchestras. One of the oldest and best-known still active choirs is The Hlahol Singing Club (today comprising a mixed, girls and childrens choir), founded in 1861 in Prague and currently directed by Roman Z. Novk. Another is Beseda brnnsk [The Brno Association] (since 1860), which came into existence originally as a male


choir largely thanks to Pavel Kkovsk. The choirs directors have included the composer Leo Janek (in 1876-88), and then Jaroslav Kvapil (1920-46). Czechoslovak presidents Tom Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Bene were honorary members. After the founding of The Brno State Philharmonic (1956) the choir became a part of this organisation with the title The Brno Philharmonic Choir of the Brno Association up to the 1990s. The current choirmasters here are Petr Kola, Emil Skotk, Jan Rozehnal and Stanislav Kummer. Organisationally the choir works with Masaryk University in Brno and the Janek Academy of Performing Arts. The third important still active choir is The erotn Academic Choir founded in Olomouc (1880). It takes its name from the old Moravian noble line of the erotns. The most important gure to be associated with this singing and music society was Antonn Dvok, who became an honorary member and in 1888 in Olomouc conducted the choir in the premiere of his oratorio St. Ludmila. Since 1999 the choir has been afliated with The Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra in Olomouc, which it originally helped to found. These three oldest choirs of high quality, against the background of hundreds of other choral societies and clubs in smaller and larger towns and the countryside, made a strong contribution to the character of cultural and social life in the Czech Lands after 1860. In 2003 The Choral Association of Moravian Teachers, which rst performed in Krom as an association of students and graduates of the local teacher-training institute, celebrated its 100th anniversary. The choir did a great deal to help create of the tradition of modern choral performance and can take a great deal of credit for the propagation of Czech choral music abroad from as early as the 1920s. From the beginning contemporary composers wrote pieces for it, including L. Janek, J. B. Foerster, V. Novk, J. Suk, O. Ostril, B. Martin, and currently P. Eben, M. Bchorek and others. The founder and rst choirmaster was Ferdinand Vach (up to 1936), and since 1975 it has worked under the direction of Lubomr Mtl. In its repertoire we nd works from the Renaissance (Palestrina, Lasso) up to the present day. The largest professional choir in the Czech Republic is The Prague Philharmonic Choir (up to 1969 it was known as The Czech Choir). It was founded in 1935 and afliated to The Czech Filharmonic Orchestra in 1953 (to the year 1991). In 1959 after the death of Jan Khn, Josef Veselka and later Lubomr Mtl became director of the choir. The next stage, after 1990, was associated with the direction of Pavel Khn, son of Jan Khn, and since 1996 the principal choirmaster has been Jaroslav Brych. The choir has worked and continues to work with many important orchestras and conductors (Wolfgang Savalisch, Claudio Abbado and others) and its gramophone recordings with the Czech Philharmonic have won international prizes in Jaroslav Brych Paris, Berlin and Tokyo. Another legendary choir is The Khn Mixed Choir, founded in 1958 by Pavel Khn. The choir has a very broad range of repertoire and works with leading orchestras (The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, The Prague Symphony Orchestra, and The Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra) The recording of the complete vocal works of Bohuslav Martin for Supraphon is one of the greatest achievements of this choir. The Brno Czech Philharmonic Choir, founded in 1990, is a successful younger professional choir, founded in 1990. It specialises in oratorio and cantata repertoire and also works with opera companies and


often appears at festivals of sacred music. The composer Petr Fiala is its founder and choirmaster. Very quality choir works in The National Opera in Brno conducted by Josef Pank). Another elite and very high quality choir is the mixed Prague Chamber Choir, which was founded as an ensemble composed of the leading Prague choral singers. Universal in repertoire, it has worked and continues to work with many world-famous orchestras with conductors such as Giuseppe Sinopoli, Herbert Blomstedt, Vclav Neumann, Ji Blohlvek, Neville Marrimer and Tadeusz. Strugala. Its principal choirmaster is also Josef Pank. He has made a series of recordings of works by Czech composers with the choir (A. Dvok, L. Janek, J. Suk, P. Eben). The amateur choir Czech Song was founded in 1954 by the important contemporary choral composer Zdenk Luk, and its current choirmaster is Ji trunc. In 1990 a section of the choir split off to create New Czech Song, which is also one of the top amateur choirs in the Czech Republic. Both choirs are based in the Plze Region. Important amateur or semi-amateur choirs come under the umbrella of The Union of Czech Choirs (which at present brings together as many as 240 choirs, including childrens choirs). Many of them draw on the local traditions of choral singing that go back to the 19th century. Successful childrens choirs include e.g. Bambini di Praga, Tthe Khn Childrens Choir (Prague), The Cantilena Childrens Choir (Brno), Severek [Northerner] (Liberec), Boni pueri (Hradec Krlov).


Folk music culture in the Czech Republic can be roughly divided into two parts that are more or less coterminous with the historical division of the Czech Lands into Bohemia and Moravia. In terms of melody, the folk music of Moravia is often dened as the eastern or also the vocal type, while that of Bohemia is characterised as an instrumental type. This distinction is useful only for purposes of general orientation, however, since music of both types can be found in both regions and there are also regional differences on the north-south axis. Music in Bohemia is akin to the music of Austria and Germany. It also shares a number of melodies with these areas. It is rhythmically more regular and harmonically
*The list of orchestras and choirs with contacts see in the chapter Links.
Fiddlers' band from Velk nad Velikou


simpler, mainly keeping to major scales. The melody is inuenced by the form of instrumental performance and it is often possible to identify from the character of a melody whether it was originally pipes dance melody or, for example, a bugle signal. The melodies are derived from the harmony and spread chords and scale progressions. Song texts were created to already existing melodies, with the result that there are more texts than melodies. The instrumental origin of melodies is also often evident in the frequent adjustment of the text by drawing out or repetition of the syllables. Originally most songs were in three-time, but during the 19th century two-time became more frequent in association with the rise of new kinds of dance. Almost without exception the songs have and eight-bar or four-bar phrases. In Bohemia stronger mutual inuence between folk music and composed music developed as a result of the larger concentration of towns. The inuences of the Baroque and Classicism can therefore be heard in Bohemian folk songs. From the nineteenth century there was increasing overlap between the folk music of the Bohemian countryside, urban folklore and popularised composed music. The folk music of Moravia and Silesia is closely related to the music of Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. The lesser degree of industrialisation and so weaker connection between rural and urban culture has meant that melodies of a more archaic type have survived here. In contrast to Bohemia, minor or modal melodies are strikingly frequent. In consequence of the fact that the melody is adapted to the text, we more often nd irregularity and asymmetric structure. In slow songs, a rubato style without xed measure is typical. An irregular rhythm can also be found in dance songs. In the melodies we nd less repetition. The harmony is determined by the melody and is characterised by many peculiar progressions, such as change from major to minor within one song. In Moravia folk music maintained its original context and place in everyday life for longer. In the rst decades of the 20th century what is known as the New Hungarian style, spread mainly by Gypsy bands, has been beginning to reach Moravia. With the new style there is also an emphasis on soloist virtuosity. Dance songs make up a large part of the repertoire in both Bohemia and Moravia. In this sphere too there has been mutual inuence between urban and rural culture and also the adoption of dances from neighbouring countries. Thus in Bohemia, we not only the polka nd for example the lndler from Austria or the Polish mazurka, and the csardas has penetrated into Moravia from Hungary. Besides dance songs there also songs associated with particular ceremonies, above all the wedding, work songs or childrens songs. One special example is the verbuk, a male solo dance originally danced by recruits conscripted into the army. Vendors ballads (broadsheet ballads), which continued the long tradition of music written by itinerant musicians, have a special place. These songs also disseminated news, often relating important or remarkable events. Shrovetide feasts in Velk nad Velikou


In general, folk music in Bohemia can be said to be more homogenous in terms of style, while in Moravia the individual regions can differ strikingly. In Bohemia the distinctive regions are in the south and west, above all Chodsko and Blata, where the traditions of bagpipes music have been preserved. On the Bohemian-Moravia border there is the distinctive area of Horcko with ddle bands. In Moravia regions with a highly specic folk music are Slovcko in the south-east, Wallachia to the north and the Han in Central Moravia. Silesia and Lasko, which are under the inuence of Polish folk music, are markedly different from Moravia. Musical Instruments and Ensembles In the earliest times the main instrument was the bagpipes, which were the principal musical accompaniment at all festive occasions (weddings, fairs...) From the end of the 16th century there are records of ensembles in which the pipes were combined with a ute (fe) or a drum. From the mid 17th century stringed instruments, primarily the violin, spread into Bohemia. In the earlier 18th century the clarinet appeared in folk music. At this period substantial differences also began to emerge in instrumental ensembles in the different regions. In Bohemia, especially the south, we nd what was known as the small peasant band, consisting of bagpipes, clarinettist and violinist. Other favourite instruments were the hurdy-gurdy harp or zither, which were widespread mainly among Germans settled in Bohemia. In East Moravia the bagpipes also known as gajdas were the most important instrument up to the 1860s. The gajda band was made up of piper and ddler. From the mid-19th century the hudeck muzika [string band], appears, in which there is a piper. This usually consisted of several ddlers, one of them playing the melody while the other created a rhythmic and harmonic accompaniment. In the course of the century this ensemble stabilised in the form of rst violin, second violin (the so-called terc), the violin or viola accompaniment known as contra, clarinet and double bass. The dulcimer band is regarded as a typical

Bagpipe band from Domalice

Pipers' band from Hrava


Moravian folk formation. From the beginning of the 18th century the dulcimer was a popular instruments not only in Moravia but also in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and in South Bohemia. This was a small dulcimer hung round the neck by a strap, however, which appeared in groups with ddle and bass up to the beginning of the 19th century but subsequently disappeared from the instrumental array. A large modern dulcimer was constructed in 1866 by the Budapest instrument-maker, originally from any near Prague, J. V. Schunda. In Eastern Moravia this instrument started to appear in folk music ensembles only much later, in the 1930s. It became very popular particular for its dynamic and pitch range. Sources, Collectors and the Revival of Folk Traditions Thanks to the fact that folksong melodies were used for sacred songs, we have indirect records of several melodies from as early as the end of the 15th century. The rst known collectors of folksongs appear in the latter 18th century. The collection of the miller A. Francl-Skora, for example, has survived from 1768. At the turn of the 18th/19th centuries the nobleman Jan Jenk of Bratice recorded a large number of Czech folk songs and in deance of the prevailing trends among national revivalists who idealised folk art, he did not exclude immoral and dissolute songs from his records. What were known as the Gubernial collection organised by the Austrian authorities in 1819 provided the rst stimulus for a more systematic and professional collection and classication of folk music. In the course of the 19th century a whole series of collections were made that map Bohemian and Moravian folk song. The most important collectors included Karel Jaromr Erben in Bohemia, and in Moravia Frantiek Suil, whose efforts were carried on by Frantiek Barto in collaboration with the composer Leo Janek. At the turn of the 19th /20th century folk specialists began to employ a new invention the phonograph. In Bohemia the rst to do so was the expert in aesthetics and musicology Otakar Zich, who in 1909 recorded the piper Frantiek Kopk from Blatra region on wax cylinder. At the same time, Frantiek Pospil started to use the phonograph in Moravia, as did Leo Janek and others later. The Czechoslovak Ethnographic Exhibition in 1895, which presented the way of life of the different regions, awoke the wider public to an interest in folk culture. Folk culture played an important role in the formation of the identity of Bohemia and Moravia in the Austro-Hungarian era and later when the independent state was born. At the beginning of the 20th century we start to see efforts to revive and preserve folk culture even outside its original context. The 1930s saw the formation of what were known as circles devoted to folk music and dancing of specic regions (Slovcko, Wallachia, Chodsko) and to reconstructing folk customs. After the 2nd World War amateur and professional folk dance ensembles sprang up throughout the republic and the movement was supported by the state. The Czech State Song and Dance Ensemble and the Brno Radio Orchestra of Folk Instruments were founded, as were various displays and festivals, the oldest held since 1946 in Strnice. Since 1989 the government has reduced subsides, but many ensembles and festivals still survive and ourish.



Before World War I A denite separation of classical and popular music occurred at the turn of the 20th century. Singing on social occasions, semi-folk songs and choral music frequently expressed patriotic themes in the spirit of the Czech Revival. The establishment of The Prague Conservatory in 1811 laid the foundations for the professionalization of the countrys musical life. The rst music-publishing activities in Prague were undertaken in 1818 by the Italian Marco Berra and the Urbnek family related to him through marriage. In 1871, Frantiek Augustin Urbnek founded a music-publishing company in Prague, in 1919 Oldich Pazdrek in Brno. Among the most favoured Czech social dances were the duple-time polka (after 1830, initially in eastern Bohemia) and the waltz in time (from the second third of the 19th century). In the latter part of the 19th century, brass-band music, which drew on the traditions of Austro-Hungarian military bands, gained ever-greater popularity. FRANTIEK KMOCH (1848-1912) of Koln was the most outstanding bandmaster and composer of brass-band music. In larger towns and cities parlour music developed simultaneously. This easily performed, pleasing type of music was played on stringed instruments and the piano in parlours of private homes. RUDOLF FRIML (18791970) and BOHUSLAV LEOPOLD (1888-1956) were muchloved composers of this music. Many popular songs had their origin in Czech musical comedies derived from the German singspiels and vaudevilles, the French variety shows and cabarets, and from operettas of GermanAustrian provenance. The rst authentically Czech cabaret erven sedma [The Seven of Hearts] opened in 1910. JI ERVEN (18871962) and KAREL BALLING (1889-1972) were the chief composers of its songs. KAREL HALER (1879-1941) wrote inimitable sentimental songs with Prague-related themes. Gradually, Prague became acquainted with the new forms of dance inuenced by jazz, among them the cakewalk and boston (1902-1903), the two-step (1906) and the tango (1910). The night caf Montmartre became the centre of activity of Pragues newly emerging social life. Karel Haler


The Nineteen-twenties In the 1920s, the rst radio in continental Europe to begin broadcasting was Czech Radio (Radiojournal): in 1923 it went on the air in Prague, in 1924 in Brno and, in 1929, in Ostrava. Czechoslovakia familiarized itself with jazz through jazzdance music. The rst Czech jazz bands were the Melody Makers (1925) and Melody Boys (1929), both founded by the bandleader, singer, pianist and composer RUDOLF ANTONN DVORSK (1899-1966). Of seminal importance for the future course of Czech popular music was the work of the creative team that performed in the late 1920s in Osvobozen divadlo [The Liberated Theatre]. The songwriters, actors and extemporaneous entertainers JI VOSKOVEC (1905-1981) and JAN WERICH (1905-1980) and the composer JAROSLAV JEEK (1906-1942) wrote a number of satirical revues and plays containing many original songs, which have since become evergreens (Vest Pocket Revue, Caesar, Kat a blzen [The Executioner and the Fool] and Nebe na zemi [Heaven on Earth]). Here started her career original cabaret singer LJUBA HERMANOV Jan Werich, Ji Voskovec, Jaroslav Jeek (1913-1996). The nineteen-twenties also saw the development of a specic style of song the tramp song. During the weekends city people left for the country, where they eventually created a repertoire of songs (usually accompanied by a guitar), which incorporated inuences from both Czech folk songs and traditional popular music, as well as from American popular and dance music inspired by the romantic vein of lm Westerns. The Nineteen-thirties In the 1930s and 1940s, tramp songs were affected by swing jazz and later also by country-and-western music. A powerful phenomenon in the Czech entertainment industry, alongside brass-band music and the operetta (composers Jra Bene, Jaroslav Jankovec and Josef Stelibsk), was the so-called lidovka. These were simple traditional popular songs whose melodies were often inspired by folk music and dances such as the polka, waltz and tango and whose lyrics, for the most part, expressed amorous troubles, at times with gaudy conclusions. The best-known lidovka song were composed by KAREL VACEK (1902-1980) and JAROMR VEJVODA (1902-1988), the author of the world-renowned polka koda lsky (1934), known in English as the Beer Barrel Polka and in German as Rosamunde. The musical production of The Liberated Theatre (for example, the songs Nebe na zemi and David a Goli [David and Goliath]) acquired the character of anti-Fascist political satire. Satire was also cultivated by the dramatist and composer EMIL FRANTIEK BURIAN (1904-1959), who wrote the rst Czech publication on jazz (Jazz, 1928). In 1932-33, Burian operated the cabaret erven eso


[The Trump of Hearts] and, in 1934, he founded the avant-garde theatre D 34, where he developed the voice band technique based on rhythmic choral declamation. In the 1930s, the swing scene was expanded to include the Prague Gramoklub orchestra conducted by JAN MA (1911-1983) and, from the late 1930s, the orchestra of KAREL VLACH (1911-1986). Established in the late 1920 and early 1930s were the rst phonograph record companies Esta and Ultraphone. The Nineteen-forties During the countrys forced wartime isolation, notably Czech swing crystallized into a distinctive form of song production performed especially by the orchestras of R. A. Dvorsk, Karel Vlach and JAROSLAV MALINA (1912-1988). The Brno-based bandmaster and singer GUSTAV BROM (1921-1995) founded his orchestra in 1940. Among the most prominent composers of that period were KAMIL BHOUNEK (1916-1983), ALFONS JINDRA (1908-1978), LEOPOLD KORBA (1917-1990), BEDICH NIKODEM (1909-1970) and JAN RYCHLK (1916-1964). Most popular among the singers of those times were ARNOT KAVKA (1917-1994), RUDOLF CORTZ (1921-86), Sestry Allanovy [The Allan Sisters] and INKA ZEMNKOV (1925-2000). In the late 1940s, a Communist government came to power, imposing in the sphere of popular music the Soviet model of variety-show music. Jazz music survived in certain cafs. The tour of the Australian revivalist Orchestra of Graeme Bell in 1947 had a major impact on the appearance of numerous Czech dixieland jazz bands. The music industry was concentrated in state monopolies, including Supraphon and, from the late 1960s, Panton. The Nineteen-fties The state bodies governed by the Communist authorities suppressed all musical styles coming from the West, especially those linked with American culture. Conversely, the regimes greatest support was given to the secondary cultivation of folk music and the composition of optimistic songs for the masses, such as RADIM DREJSLs (1923-1953) Rozkvetl den [A Blossoming Day]. There was a ourishing of instrumental music productions of symphonic-type orchestras that performed lighter concert repertories, the so-called "vy populr" [higher-level popular music]. Typically, this music was played by such ensembles as Brnnsk estrdn rozhlasov orchestr (BERO) [The Brno Variety Radio Orchestra] and composed by such composers as LADISLAV KOZDERKA (1913-1999). The music group of VCLAV KUERA (1925-1983) with its female lead singer Marta Kuerov
Emil Frantiek Burian

Inka Zemnkov


(the band was also known by the name Kuerovci), which specialized in the folklore of Indonesia, the islands of the Pacic Ocean and Latin America, scored spontaneous popular success. Larger-size orchestras performed in local cafs without the support of the mass media. A more favourable climate for the enhancement of modern popular tunes came only during the second half of the 1950s, when such singers as RICHARD ADAM (*1930), JOSEF ZMA (*1932), MILAN CHLADIL (1931-1984), YVETTA SIMONOV (*1928) and JUDITA EOVSK (1929-2001) gained recognition. The Nineteen-sixties The political control of the country was relaxed somewhat in the late 1950s, which situation was favourable to the pioneering composers of the modern jazz style: in 1961, the ensemble Studio 5 split into two groups, i.e. the SHQ featuring the jazz vibraphonist, pianist, saxophonist and composer KAREL VELEBN (1931-1989) and The Jazz Studio with the double-bass player and composer LUDK HULAN (1929-1979). The flute player, multi-instrumentalist and composer JI STIVN (*1942) has become the countrys foremost exponent of the free-jazz and fusion styles. Founded in 1960 was the The Czechoslovak Radio Dance Orchestra (TOR) and its jazz offshoot (JOR), both of which were conducted by the saxophonist and composer KAREL KRAUTGARTNER (19221982). Virtually all outstanding Czech jazz musicians were one-time members of that orchestra, with various smaller progressive jazz formations splitting off from its nucleus (Jazzov studio, Cellula). The countrys political isolation notwithstanding, from the late 1950s, the rise of a new sound and musical idiom in the form of rocknroll stimulated an enthusiastic response (groups Sputnici [Sputniks]and Komety [Comets], singers PAVEL SEDLEK, *1941 and MIKI VOLEK, *1943), which in turn fostered the emergence of a broad rock music movement. Most successful were the Prague groups Olympic (exponent of the Czech Mersey sound with its own compositions and Czech lyrics) and Matadors (a Czech version of rhythm & blues with original English lyrics). The groups based in Brno embraced the harmonic vocal sound (Synkopy 61 [Syncopation 61], Vulkn [Volcano], Atlantis), the Ostrava-based groups sought inspiration in Black soul music (Majestic and Flamingo, with the female singers MARIE ROTTROV, *1941 and VRA PINAROV,*1951). In the mid-1960s, the American country-and-western music and bluegrass were a source of inspiration for such groups as the Country beat of Ji Brabec, Greenhorns (in Czech Zeleni, with its singer Michal

Ji Stivn

Vladimr Merta


Tun) and the Rangers (also known by its Czech name, Plavci). The American folk music movement was also welcomed in Czechoslovakia, inuencing, for example, the music of songwriters JAROSLAV HUTKA (*1947) and VLADIMR MERTA (*1946). The music of KAREL KRYL (1944-1994) reected more the Czech musical-theatrical tradition and the French chanson (from 1969 he lived in Germany, returning to Czechoslovakia after the fall of Communism in 1989). One of the most signicant phenomena of Czech popular music - so-called "divadla malch forem" [theaters of minor forms] - traces its roots to the late 1950s. These theatres blended the Czech cabaret tradition and the legacy of the Liberated Theatre with modern swing and later with pop-and-rock music. The leading theatre ensemble of that sort was Semafor with its songwriters and actors JI SUCH (*1931) and JI LITR (1924-1969). A number of their songs have achieved wide appeal and most present-day Czech stars, such as the singers KAREL GOTT (*1939), WALDEMAR MATUKA (*1932), VCLAV NECK (*1943), EVA PILAROV (*1939), HANA HEGEROV (*1931), HELENA VONDRKOV (*1947), MARTA KUBIOV (*1942) and HANA ZAGOROV (*1946) began their singing careers in Semafor or in similar ensembles (Rokoko [Rococo], Divadlo na zbradl [The Theatre on the Balustrade], Apollo, Studio Ypsilon [Studio Upsilon], Paravan [Screen], Veern Brno [Night Brno], etc.). The Nineteen-seventies

Karel Gott

Golden Kids (from the left: Vondrkov, Neck, Kubiov)

After the countrys military occupation by the Warsaw Pact troops in August 1968, which put an end to the relaxed political control that had taken place in Czechoslovakia throughout the 1960s, the regime re-established an authoritarian system a period ofcially referred to as normalization. The mass media and other institutions responsible for the management of the cultural sphere came once again under the tight control of the Communist Party bodies. Those representing minority music genres had no prospects; mainstream popular music was dominated by lackeys of the Communist regime. Many talented musicians emigrated to Western countries, with only a few of them nding a niche for themselves there as musicians. These are pianist JAN HAMMER (*1948), who achieved critical acclaim on the American jazz scene, bassists MIROSLAV VITOU (*1947) and GEORGE MRZ (*1944) and guitar player RUDY LINKA (*1960). IVAN KRL (*1948), who had played with Patti Smith and Iggy Pop, won recognition on the American rock scene. Some musicians back home refused the regimes new dictate and were driven to perform underground, among them the groups Plastic People of the Universe and DG 307. The political trial of the members of The Plastic People of the Universe and other musicians in 1976 provoked a wave of protests also within


the countrys dissident community, resulting in the forming of a political opposition movement soon to become known as Charter 77. Between commercial pop music, on the one hand, and underground music, on the other, a strong current of folk-rock music come to the forefront of the Czech music scene, exemplied by such groups as Etc. with VLADIMR MIK (*1947), Marsyas and C&K Vocal, and jazz-rock music bands, which included Jazz Q, Energit, Impuls [Stimulus] and Prask big band Milana Svobody [The Prague Big Band of Milan Svoboda] (MILAN SVOBODA, * 1951). The Nineteen-eighties In the early 1980s, Czech popular music was invigorated by the vivacious new wave in rock music, represented by Prask vbr [Prague Elite] its musicians MICHAEL KOCB (*1954) and MICHAL PAVLEK (*1956), Abraxas and Hudba Praha [Prague Music]. Some groups drew on punk music (F.P.B., U jsme doma [We Are at Home], Plexis) or New Romanticism (Precedens [Precedent], Ocen [Ocean]), while other ones were inspired by reggae (JANA KRATOCHVLOV, *1953, Babalet, Yo Yo Band). In the mid-1980s, the previously irreconcilable rock and pop styles were being fused both in style and expression. The music of new young groups, such as entour [Horse Gear] and Ocean, as well as the new creations of the older generation of rock musicians including MICHAL PROKOP (*1946) with his group Framus 5 and the group Olympic with PETR JANDA (*1942) were opening Michal Prokop up to broader strata of listeners, while some talented interpreters of mainstream music were seeking innovative and more interesting musical arrangements as, for example, JI KORN (*1949). Among the jazz musicians to have achieved wide acclaim are the pianists KAREL RIKA (*1940), EMIL VIKLICK (*1948), Milan Svoboda and their younger colleagues Zdenk Zdenk and Martin Kumk. New interpreters of folk songs enjoyed popular success during the 1980s: DAGMAR ANDRTOV-VOKOV (*1948), JAREK NOHAVICA (*1953), KAREL PLHAL (*1958), ZUZANA Olympic NAVAROV (19592004) with her group Nerez [The Stainless Steal], and other folk-, tramp- and country-music singers and groups, among them Spiritul kvintet [The Spiritual Quintet] and Brontosaui [Brontosauruses] with the brothers Jan and Frantiek Nedvd, and Wabi Dank. During that decade, too, the singer and violinist IVA BITTOV (*1958) began developing her singular creative talents and stylistically wholly authentic musical expression. A different type of audience became enthusiastic about the emerging heavy metal music led by such groups as Arakain, Root and Trr. Throughout the 1980s, numerous future stars of Czech pop music began, often inconspicuously, their rise to stardom: the female singers BRA BASIKOV (*1963) and LUCIE BL (*1966), male singers


Dan Brta, JANEK LEDECK (*1962) and Petr Muk, and groups Lucie, Kabt [The Coat] and Laura a jej tygi [Laura and Her Tigers]. Many folk and rock musicians participated, alongside their musical engagements and other social activities, in the processes that resulted in the fall of Communism in 1989. Some of them became active thereafter as politicians (Michael Kocb, Michal Prokop, Vladimr Mik and Svatopluk Karsek). The Nineteen-nineties and the Present The reestablishment of democratic conditions led to an overhauling of all spheres of social and cultural life. There appeared and disappeared many local music-related publishing companies and private print media, as well as magazines (Rock&Pop, Folk&Country, Ultramix, Xmag) and festivals (the Open Air Music Festival held in Turnov, Rock for People in esk Brod, Jazz Goes to Town in Hradec Krlov, Colours of Ostrava in Ostrava). Numerous ensembles from abroad could now perform freely in the country (Frank Zappa, Rolling Stones). In recent years, large cities in the Czech Republic have delighted in musicals. Apart from the adaptations of world-famous performances (Les Misrables, 1992, Jesus Christ Superstar, 1994), new original pieces have been produced. Coming from the workshop of ZDENK MERTA (*1951) was his musical Bastard (1993) and penned by KAREL SVOBODA (*1938), Jesus Christ Superstar the most prolic Czech hit-maker of the 1960s1990s, was Dracula (1995). DANIEL LANDA (*1968), the protagonist of the former skinhead group Orlk [Eaglet], authored the musical Krysa [The Ratcatcher] (1996) and singer Janek Ledeck wrote the musical Hamlet (1999). Musicals in particular have contributed to the unshakable position of the Queen of Czech Pop Music, singer Lucie Bl, whose repertory during the 1990s was built by the tandem composer ONDEJ SOUKUP (* 1951) and lyricist GABRIELA OSVALDOV (*1953). Czech jazz has been drawing on the tradition of the superb bass school (Ludk Hulan, Miroslav Vitou, George Mrz, Frantiek Uhl, Frantiek Konek) with such new projects as those of ROBERT BALZAR (*1962) and JAROMR HONZK (*1959). DAVID DORKA (*1980) is one of the most accomplished guitarists of the youngest generation of musicians. Widely appreciated among the rock groups of the 1990s are such bands as Lucie, Buty, Yo Yo Band, Tich dohoda [Tacit Agreement], Support Lesbiens, Tata boys and J.A.R. Electronic dance music has experienced a dramatic development. The production of the groups Ecstasy of St. Theresa with JAN P. MUCHOW (* 1971), Liquid Harmony, Blow and Skyline, and the work of such DJs as Trva [Grass], Bidlo [Pole], Loutka [Marionette], Ladida, Blue and others have been highly inuential. Simultaneously, a new generation of rap and hip-hop artists, DJs, art designers and dancers has emerged and is winning ever-larger audiences. It is exemplied by


the groups Indy&Wich, Bow Wave and Super Crooo. Today, one of the most promising areas of music is the Czech world music scene. In the Czech Republic, there are numerous ensembles inspired by exotic music and cultures, with musicians from those regions frequently performing in the groups: Relaxation and Yamuna India and Japan, Tshikuna and Hypnotix Africa, Natalika and Ahmed m hlad [Ahmed is Hungry] the Balkans, Al-Yaman Yemen and Arabia, ZUZANA NAVAROV (1959-2004) with the group KOA - Latin American or gypsy music, Vra Bl with the group Kale and Ida Kelarov with the group Romano Rat - gypsy music, Mipacha - Jewish music. There is also an increasing number of ne, highly-specialized groups which have been interpreting Czech and Moravian folk music in modern ways. Various ensembles have been deriving their creations from the pioneering deeds of PETR ULRYCH (*1944) with his groups Volcano (1960s), Atlantis and Javory [Maples] (1970s), and from the openness to a variety of inuences and forms of collaboration as practiced by the famed cymbalo band Hradian and its rst violinist JI PAVLICA (*1953). The singer RADZA (*1974) has a distinctive style of her own. Some groups are based on folk-rock music (Fleret, Benedikta, Koaboj), while other ensembles combine domestic folk music with elements of Celtic tunes, folk songs and country music (echomor, Teagrass, Do cuku, Tom Koko a Orchestr [Tom Koko and Orchestra], Marcipn [Marzipan]), or with elements of jazz (cimbalist and singer Zuzana Lapkov with The Emil Viklick Trio, and the group Muziga).


Non-professional activities in music, in other words "amateur music-making", or as it has sometimes been called since the 1970s arts activity for interest, have been continually developing and expanding in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia for more than two hundred years, as numerous records show. Although the law (i.e. copyright and related regulations) makes no distinction between amateur and professional art, the two categories differ in organisation and motivation. The amateur category is of course very various in itself. There is a relatively small group of top amateur ensembles that are comparable with professional groups in repertory and standard of performance. It is also common practice for professional performers and conductors to make guest appearances with amateur ensembles. The question of whether a group is or is not paid for concerts is not very important. The key factor is that people should strongly identify with a particular amateur eld of activity. Amateur ensembles operate at schools (basic arts-orientated schools, conservatories), cultural centres of one kind or another (although they are not run by the centres), and churches (choirs), or they have the status of civic associations in their own right. The individual players or singers are not employed by the ensembles or parent institutions, as is the case with professional ensembles. Most of the ensembles are in fact civic associations. They can apply for grants from local authorities (the community or region), and from the state (each year the Ministry of Culture offers grants to support non-professional arts activities including music). A state-funded organisation, The National Information and Advisory Centre for Culture (ARTAMA Section), provides professional assistance (selected festivals and other events, studios and workshops, literature on methods and so on).


Adult Choirs This area consists of mixed choirs and vocal groups, womens choirs, girls choirs and mens choirs and covers an age group of 15-75. On the basis of numbers of public performances, there appear to be around 200 choirs giving concert recitals with a total of two thousand members. The largest numbers are in the South Moravian and Moravian-Silesian Regions. Many choirs sing as church choirs, but in this case their activities are mostly limited to a particular parish or church. The main event in amateur choral activity is the annual Jihlava festival of Choral Music with its biennial composing competition. Other important events in this context include The ernohorsk Days in Nymburk, which is focused on sacred music, The Spring Festival (which starts with award of the Zdenk Luk Prize and is held each year in a different place in the CR), The Festival of Advent and Christmas Music in Prague (opens with the award of the Petr Eben Prize), The Kampanila Festival in Mikulov, The Bohuslav Martin Festival in Pardubice, and The IFAS Pardubice University Choir Competition. The civic association Union of Czech Choirs, is the nation-wide umbrella organisation for choral activity.

Wind Orchestras This area consists of small wind orchestras (165), middle-sized wind orchestras (25), large wind youth orchestras (45) and large wind orchestras for adults (29) with a total of around seven thousand players in all age categories. Once again the largest number of ensembles is in the South Moravian and Moravian-Silesian Region. The wind orchestras are organised in associations, and are afliated with schools, local authorities and cultural centres. The prestigious events in this area are The International Competition for Large Wind Orchestras in Ostrava and The International Competition for Small Wind Orchestras held in Hodonn under the name Zlat kdlovka [The Golden Bugle]. Both are organised on a biennial basis on alternate years. Some festivals (Kmochs Koln, The Dn International Music Festival, FIJO Cheb, FEDO tt currently a majorette competition, FEDO Zln and others) are international. The Union of Wind Orchestras of the CR acts as the national umbrella organisation. Chamber and Symphonic Music The eld of instrumental music, dened primarily in terms of repertoire, consists of ensembles (duos, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets and up to decets), of which there are 89 with a total of 450 performers, chamber orchestras with from 15 to 35 members mainly playing stringed instruments (95 ensembles with around two thousand instrumentalists and classic symphony orchestras (a total of 18 ensembles with around a thousand instrumentalists). In terms of geographical distribution, the most ensembles are based in Prague, the Central Bohemian and the South Moravian Regions. Youth ensembles and orchestras and their training come under the competence of the organisation Musical Youth of the CR (a member of Jeunesse musicale at UNESCO). The main events in the area are The National Festival of Chamber and Symphonic Music (which takes place every year in the form of four to ve concerts in different places in the CR) and The Camerata nova in Nchod, Vysoina Music Festival, and Meeting of Chamber Orchestras in Olomouc. The Association of Non-Professional Chamber and Symphonic Ensembles is a state-wide civic association in this eld.


Childrens Choirs The category covers a wide spectrum from school choirs providing an active complement to music education in schools to long-standing and highly dedicated concert choirs that give excellent performances thanks to the quality of training and professional leadership. The annual National Festival of Childrens School Choirs (held in different towns) is preceded by regional selective competitions for the festival. On the basis of monitoring the concert activities of selected choirs, there are estimated to be between about 450 and 500 choirs involving more than 20,000 children. The children are between 6 and 15 years of age (preparatory choirs) and in concert-type choirs the maximum age is 18 years. Most of the choirs are from Basic Schools with Arts Orientation and basic schools with extra music teaching, and a small proportion are from childrens homes. Apart from the nation-wide competition mentioned above, important events in the eld include the state Competition of concert choirs in Nov Jin (biennial), The Olomouc Song Festival with its Iuventus mundi cantat competition, The Bohuslav Martin Festival in Pardubice, The Gymnasia cantant competition, The International Festival of Childrens Choirs in Pardubice, The State-wide Competition of Choirs from Basic Schools with Extra Music Education, The Liberec Small Singers, and most recently The International Festival of Childrens Choirs for the anniversary of the birth of Frantiek Lsek in Brno. Given their connection to schools, childrens choirs are relatively uniformly distributed across the whole territory of the Czech Republic.


In the Czech Republic there are as many as 135 major classical music festivals and 180 festivals in other genres. The oldest is the international Prague Spring Music Festival, founded on the initiative of the conductor Rafael Kubelk in 1946, the year of the ftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. In its very rst year the festival already enjoyed the patronage of the President of the republic, Edvard Bene. From the beginning the festival attracted top stars. Guest performers and conductors included Karel Anerl, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Adrian Boult, Rudolf Firkun, Jaroslav Krombholc, Rafael Kubelk, Moura Lympany, Yevgeny Mravinsky, Charles Munch, Ginette Neveu, Jarmila Novotn, Lev Oborin, David Oistrakh, Jan Panenka and others. Since 1952 the three-week festival has always opened with Bedich Smetanas cycle of symphonic poems M vlast [My Homeland] on the anniversary of the death of the composer, the 12th of May, and in most years it used to end (up to 2003) with Ludwig van Beethovens Ninth Symphony. The Prague Spring is one of the few major international festivals to pay particular attention to young performers. A Prague Spring competition was established only a year after the festival itself, and it takes place annually but for various different instruments in different years. Since 1957 the festival has been a founder member of The World Federation of International Music Competitions based in Geneva. From the outset, then, it has been a high-prole and wide-ranging display of world musical culture. The oldest opera festival in the Czech Republic is the Smetanas Litomyl International Opera Festival founded by the Smetana expert and Litomyl native Zdenk Nejedl in 1949. From the beginning the precincts of the Chateau of Litomyl with its natural amphitheatre have been the setting for the festival. Initially


it was monothematic in the sense that only the music of Bedich Smetana was played and the permanent guest company was The Prague National Theatre. Later, however, other opera companies - from Brno, Ostrava and Bratislava, were invited to the festival. 1966-73 The Smetanas Litomyl Festival lapsed and it was only to be revived in the next jubilee year of 1974. From the 1970s not only the music of Smetana but works by others, particularly Czech and Slovak composers found a place at the event (Dvok, Janek, Martin, Fibich, Tchaikovsky, Prokoev and others.) It took until the end of the 1980s, however, for the festival to open to the music of Mozart, Verdi and other world-class classics of opera. Since 1992 Smetanas Litomyl has taken place in late June and early July each year over two or three successive long weekends. The programme is also now more open to other genres. 1966 saw the founding of The International Music Festival, later to be called Moravian Autumn, in Brno. It takes place annually at the end of September and beginning of October. Thematically it has always been orientated both to the legacy of important composers (especially L. Janek and B. Martin) or the music of a certain epoch or music of particular types, genres or geographical regions. Since 1987 it has regularly been accompanied by the thematic Exposition of New Music (May), which includes an international performance competition and international music colloquium. In the mid.1970s the International Music Festival, Janek May was founded in Ostrava. It focuses not only on the music of Leo Janek but also on other 20th century composers, especially from the region itself. It includes the international musicological conferences known as Janekiana. Other more recently founded festivals include The Prague Autumn International Music Festival founded by a private company in 1990. It is geared mainly to the presentation of orchestras from abroad that are commissioned to perform pieces by Czech composers, and to the presentation of solo stars. The esk Krumlov International Music Festival is universal in terms of style. It takes place in the summer months in the precincts of the second largest Czech monument complex after Prague Castle - the Chateau of esk Krumlov in South Bohemia. By contrast, The International Music Festival Concentus Moraviae held in South Moravia (from 1995), and exported to 67 European cities as the festival Czech Dreams in 2004, has a very distinctive programme prole. There also exist a number of other established thematically focussed festivals in classical music, among them The Summer Festival of Early Music held in Prague by the Collegium Marianum ensemble (from 1999), and Festival Baroque in Olomouc (since 1999), which is held at the end of August and in September and is particularly valuable for its Baroque and Neo-Baroque stage productions. In the eld of new music there are a number of smaller-scale projects. The most prominent are The Exposition of New Music in Brno, and the annual November Prague Marathon of Contemporary Music, organised by The Society for New Music, The Days of Contemporary Music festival, held by The Association of Musical Artists and Scientists, The Arts Association Tuesdays cycles, The Rien voir cycles by The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music (this society organise also at the beginning of November the prestigious international competition Musica nova), and in December Tden (oscillation between meaning of Three-Day Festival and Sorting) organised by The Atelier 90 group. There are quite a few festivals orientated to sacred music, e.g. The Organ Festival in Olomouc, founded in 1969, and the younger International Music Festival Forfest in Krom, focused on contemporary art and music with as spiritual dimension and founded in the early 1990s. It includes a regular academic colloquium.


Other international festivals with a spiritual focus include for example the St. Wenceslas Festival in Prague, while a St. Wenceslas Music Festival has been newly established in North Moravia. Regional and Euro-regional festivals represent a new element. One of the best known is the International Music Festival Mitte Europa, founded in 1991, which covers the regions of Bohemia, Bavaria and Saxony. The Association of Music Festivals in the CR, ofcially founded in 1996 and a member of the European Association of Festivals, presently brings together 12 international festivals held in the CR. In addition to those already mentioned, i.e. Prague Spring, Smetanas Litomyl, Moravian Autumn, Janek May, esk Krumlov Festival, Concentus Moraviae, Organ Festival in Olomouc, and Mitte Europa Festival, they are the Prague Strings of Autumn, the South Bohemian, Emmy Destinn Festival, Janeks Hukvaldy and Ludwig van Beethoven Festival in Teplice. The oldest folk festival in the CR is the Strnice International Folklore Festival organised since 1946 by The National Folk Culture Institute. Other important festivals in this eld include events put on by The Folklore Association of the CR the biennial European Meeting of Folklore Ensembles, The Brno International Folk Festival, Frdek-Mstek, and the Prague International Childrens Folk Festival of Songs and Dances. In the eld of jazz the oldest events continuing to these days are The International Jazz Festival in Prague founded in 1978, The International Jazz Festival in Karlovy Vary, Jazz Goes To Town Festival in Hradec Krlov and The Czechoslovak Jazz Festival in Perov (since 1983). Since 1989 The Agharta Prague Jazz Festival, Alternativa and Boskovice (Unijazz) have joined the ranks of important jazz festivals, and The Colours of Ostrava festival has made a name for itself in alternative, ethno and world music.



http://www.hudebniportal.cz General music portal for classical music, jazz, pop and rock music. http://www.musica.cz Ofcial web site of the Czech Music Information Center, primarily contemporary Czech music. http://muzikontakt.muzikus.cz Catalogue of contacts to music organisations, bodies and gures in the branch of Czech music. http://czechmusic.org Ofcial web site of the program Czech Music 2004.

http://www.operabase.com Portal of the world of opera (companies, performances since autumn 2003, artists, opera timelines). http://www.operissimo.com Portal of the world of opera (about 300 opera-houses in 44 countries). http://www.theatre.cz Portal for Czech theatre (institutions, agencies, artists, projects, books).

Czech Opera Houses

BRNO National Theatre in Brno http://www.ndbrno.cz ESK BUDJOVICE South Bohemian Theatre http://www.jihoceskedivadlo.cz LIBEREC F. X. alda Theatre http://www.saldovo-divadlo.cz


OLOMOUC Moravian Theatre Olomouc http://www.moravskedivadlo.cz OPAVA Silesian Theatre Opava http://www.divadlo-opava.cz OSTRAVA National Moravian-Silesian Theatre A. Dvok Theatre http://www.ndm.cz PLZE J. K. Tyl Theatre http://www.djkt-plzen.cz PRAHA National Theatre Prague http://www.narodni-divadlo.cz State Opera Prague http://www.opera.cz ST NAD LABEM North-Bohemian Theatre http://www.operabalet.cz

BRNO Brno Philharmonic Orchestra http://www.sfb.cz ESK BUDJOVICE South Bohemian Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra http://www.music-cb.cz HRADEC KRLOV East Bohemia Philharmonic Hradec Krlov http://www.fhk.cz


KARLOVY VARY Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra http://www.kso.cz MARINSK LZN West Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Marinsk Lzn http://www.zso.cz OLOMOUC Moravian Philharmonic http://www.mfo.cz OSTRAVA Janek Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava http://www.jfo.cz PARDUBICE Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice http://www.chamberphilpar.cz PRAHA Czech Philharmonic Orchestra http://www.ceskalharmonie.cz Prague Philharmonia http://www.praguephilharmonia.cz Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra http://www2.rozhlas.cz/socr/en Prague Symphony Orchestra http://www.fok.cz Czech National Symphony Orchestra http://www.cnslo.cz Prague Conservatory Symphony Orchestra http://www.prgcons.cz ZLN Bohuslav Martin Philharmonic http://www.fbmzlin.cz


http://www.choirs.cz Portal of The Union of Czech Choirs. BRNO Brno Czech Philharmonic Choir http://www.choirphilharmonic.cz Brno Philharmonic Choir Beseda Brnnsk http://www.volny.cz/bfs-bb Choral Society of Moravian Teachers http://www.psmu.cz HRADEC KRLOV Boni pueri http://www.bonipueri.cz LIBEREC Severek [The Northerner] http://www.severacek.cz OLOMOUC erotn Academic Choir http://www.zerotin.cz PLZE New Czech Song http://www.volny.cz/ncp PRAHA Prague Philharmonic Choir http://www.choir.cz Prague Chamber Choir http://www.praguechamberchoir.cz Bambini di Praga http://www.bambini.cz Khn Childrens Choir http://www.kuhnata.cz


http://www.caramba.cz Culture portal including a list of links to Czech festivals.

International Festivals in Czech Republic

BAVARIA-BOHEMIA-SAXONY International Festival Mitte Europa http://www.festival-mitte-europa.com SOUTH MORAVIA-NORTH AUSTRIA International Music Festival Concentus Moraviae http://www.concentus-moraviae.cz BRNO International Music Festival Brno Moravian Autumn http://www.mhfb.cz ESK BUDJOVICE Emmy Destinn Music Festival esk Budjovice http://www.destinn.com ESK KRUMLOV International Music Festival esk Krumlov http://www.czechmusicfestival.com HUKVALDY Janek in Hukvaldy http://www.janackovy-hukvaldy.cz LITOMYL Smetanas Litomyl International Opera Festival http://www.smetanovalitomysl.cz OLOMOUC International Organ Festival Olomouc http://www.mfo.cz OSTRAVA Janek May International Music Festival Ostrava http://www.janackuvmaj.cz


PRAHA Prague Spring International Music Festival http:// www.festival.cz Old Music Summer Festivities http://www.tynska.cuni.cz Strings of Autumn http://www.strunypodzimu.cz Prague Autumn http://www.prazskypodzim.cz St. Wenceslas Festivities http://www.sdh.cz TEPLICE International Music Festival Ludwig van Beethoven http://www.scf.sf.cz

DOLN LOMN Silesian Days International Festival http://www.beskydy.cz STRAKONICE International Bagpipe Festival http://web.strakonice.cz/mdf STRNICE Strnice International Folklore Festival http://www.nulk.cz

http://www.folkcountry.cz/festivaly Portal of folk&country music, festivals


http://www.allaboutjazz.com Portal of jazz around the world. http://www.jazzport.cz Portal of jazz music in Czech republic. HRADEC KRLOV Jazz Goes To Town Festival http://www.animato.cz/jazzgoestotown KARLOVY VARY International Jazz Festival Karlovy Vary http://www.karlovyvary.cz PRAHA International Jazz Festival http://www.jazzfestivalpraha.cz./jazz Prague Jazz Open Festival http://www.praguejazzopen.cz PEROV Czechoslovak Jazz Festival Perov http://www.bluesbar.cz

Rock, World Music, Mixed Genres

ESK BROD Rock for People Festival http://rockforpeople.cz MIKULOV Eurotrialog Festival http://www.eurotrialog.cz NOV PAKA Musica Paka Festival http://www.musicapaka-open.art.cz


OSTRAVA Colours of Ostrava-The International Festival of World Music http://www.zulu.cz/colours PRAHA Alternativa Festival Praha http://www.alternativa-festival.cz TRUTNOV Trutnov Open Air Festival http://trutnov.openair.cz

Non-professional International Festivals

http://www.nipos-mk.cz Ofcial portal of the organisation NIPOS-ARTAMA specialized in non-professional activities. CHEB FIJO Cheb International Festival of Wind Orchestra http://www.jo.cz KOLN Kmoch Koln http://www.kmochuv-kolin.cz OLOMOUC Festa Musicale-Festival of Songs Olomouc, Contest Mundi Cantat http://www.festamusicale.cz

Czech Radio http://www.rozhlas.cz Czech Television http://www.czech-tv.cz


http://www.knihovnahk.cz/ODDELENI/hudebni/adresar.htm Address book of Czech Music Libraries. National Library http://www.nkp.cz

National Museum http://www.nm.cz Czech Music Museum http://www.nm/mch




Illustrations and photographs: National Library of Czech Republic, National Museum-Czech Music Museum, Langhans Gallery, B. Martin Institute, Music Information Centre, Theatre Institute.

The authors are responsible for the opinions expressed in this publication.

CZECH MUSIC Published by Theatre Institute, Celetn 17, 110 00 Prague 1, Czech Republic as its 534th publication. Book reviewer: Jitka Ludvov (Theatre Institute) Translated by Anna Bryson Cover by Ditta Jikov Book design, typsetting and layout by Ondej Sldek Printed by Unipress s.r.o., Turnov